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ANNE HEREFORD 



Mrs. Henry Wood 



LIBRARY 

UMIVERSITV OF CALIFORNIA 

RIVERSIDE 



ANNE HEREFORD. 



ANNE HEREFORD. 



a Kobtl. 

Br 

" MRS. HENRY WOOD, ^' 

AUTHOR OF 
•'EAST J I'NNE," "THE CHANNINGS," "JOHNNY LUDLOW,' ETG, 

jptftB=fifti) 5rt)ousanU. 




LONDON: 
RICHARD BENTLEY AND SON, 

J^ubligfj«8 in ©rUinarg to ^et l^ajcstg tfje ©ueen, 

1897. 

(AU rights reserved.y 






LONDON : 
PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, 

STAMFORD STKEET AND CHARING CROSS. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTKi; |>AGK 

I. Miis. Edwin Barley ... ... . 1 

, II. In the Wood ... ... ... ... .. 13 

III. Going out in the Fog .. . ,.31 

IV Illness ... ... ... ... ... 43 

V Another Dreaji ... ... ... ... ... 59 

VI Dead! ... .. ... ... 71 

VII. At Miss Fenton's ... ... ... ... ... 87 

VIII. Emily Chandos ... ... ... ... J 05 

IX An Irrevocable Step ... ... ... ... 118 

X. At Mrs. Paleu's ... ... ... ... 126 

XI. Chandos ... ... ... ... ... ... 145 

XII. Out of Doors at Chandos ... ... ... 157 

XII[. A Shock ... ... ... ... ... ... 173 

XIV The New Tlnant by the Lomge-gates ... ... 179 

XV. In the Ironing-room ... ... ... ... 192 

XVI. Disturbed by Mrs. Chandos ... .. ... 210 

XVII. The Stranger Applicant ... ... ... ... 224 

XVIII. The New Companion ... ... ... ... 242 

XIX. Telegraphing for a Physician ... ... ... 259 

XX. Lizzy Dene ... ... ... ... 272 



vi CONTENTS. 

iHAPTFR PAGB 

XXI. In THE Pine Walk ... ... ... ... 285 

XXII. A Night Alarm ... ... ... ... 303 

XXIII. In the Gallery ... ... ... ... ... 317 

XXIV. Mrs. Penn's Revelation- ... ... ... 335 

XXV. Misery ... ... ... ... ... ... 354 

XXVI. Getting into the AVest Wing ... ... 368 

XXVII. George Heneage... ... ... ... ... 3S8 

XXVIII. An Ignominious Exit ... ... ... 40i] 

XXIX. In the West Wing ... ... ... ... 424 

XXX. The Last Fright of all ... ... ... 486 

XXXI. At Chandos ... 444 



ANNE HEREFORD. 



CHAPTER I. 

MRS. EDWIN BARLEY. 



An express train was dasliing along a line of rails in the heart 
of England. On one of the first-class carriages there had been 
a board, bearing the intimation " For Ladies only," but the 
guard took it olf when the train first started. It had come 
many miles since. Seated inside, the only passenger in that 
compartment, was a little girl in deep mourning. All was 
black about her save the white frills of her drawers which 
peeped below her short, black, flounced frock. A thoughtful, 
gentle child, with a smooth, pale forehead, earnest eyes, and 
long, dark eyelashes that swei)t her cheek. It was a gloomy 
September day, foggy, and threatening rain — a srt(^looking day ; 
and the child's face seemed to have borrowed the aspect of tlie 
weather, pervaded, as it was, by a tinge of sadness. That little 
girl was myself, Anne Hereford. 

The train slackened speed, and glided into an important 
station, larger than any we had passed. It was striking one, 
and the guard came up to the carriage. " Now, my little lady," 
said he, " change lines here, and stop for ten minutes." 

I liked that guard. He had a kind, hearty face, and he had 
come up several times to the carriage-door during the journey, 
asking how I got on. He told me lie liad a little girl of his 
own, about as old as I. 

"Are you hungry?" he asked, as he lifted me from the 
carriage. 

Anne Hereford. 1 



2 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Not very, thank yon. I have eaten the biscnits." 

" Halloa ! Stern ! " he called ont, stopping a man wlio was 
hurrying past. " Are you going with the Nettleby train ? " 

" Yes. What if I am ? " was the man's answer. He was 
rightly named Stern, for he had a stern, sour face. 

" See this little girl. She is in the guard's charge. To be 
put in the ladies' carriage, and taken on to Nettleby." 

The man gave a short nod by way of answer, and hurried 
away. And the guard took me into a large room, where crowds 
were pressing round a counter. " Here, Miss Williams," he 
said, to one of the young women behind it, " give this little 
lady something to eat and drink, and take care of her till the 
Nettleby train starts. She's to have what comes to a shilling." 

" What will you take, my dear ? " asked Miss Williams. 

The counter was so full of good things that I did not know 
what, but fixed at length upon a plum-tart. Miss Williams 
laughed, and said I had better eat some sandwiches first and 
the tart afterwards. 

She was pouring me out a cup of coffee when the guard 
came up again. " Your baggage is changed, little lady," said 
he. " You'll find it all right at the Nettleby Station. Good- 
day." 

" Good-bye, and thank you," I answered, holding out my 
hand, that he might shake it. I felt sorry to part with him — 
he seemed like a friend. Soon after, the surly guard pxit in 
his head and beckoned to me. He marshalled me to a carriage 
which had a similar board upon it to the other, " For Ladies 
only," and shut me in without a word. Two ladies sat oi^posite 
to me. They did not speak either ; but they stared a great 
deal. I thought it must be at the two tarts Miss Williams had 
given me in a paper bag, and I did not like to eat them. 

At the next station another lady got in, and she began talking 
at once. 

" Are you travelling all alone, little girl ? " 

" Yes, ma'am. The guard takes care of me." 

" Have you come far V " 

I had come from a remote jiart of Devonshire, the sea-coast* 
It seemed a long way to me, and I said so. 



MRS. EDWIN BARLEY. 3 

" Will you tell me your name ? I dare say it is a pretty 
one." 

" It is Anne Hereford." 

" Devonshire is a very nice part of the country. Have you 
lived in it all your life ? " 

" Not quite. I was born in India. Mamma brought me to 
England when I was three years old." 

" You are in deep mourning. Is it for a near relative ? " 

I did not answer. I turned to look out at the window until 
the tears should go away again. I could not bear that strangers 
should see them. The lady asked again, and presently I turned 
round. 

".For mamma." 

She was silent for some time, looking at me. " Is your papa 
dead also ? " 

" He died a long while before mamma did." 

" You say you were born in India : perhaps he was an officer ? " 

" He was Colonel Hereford." 

" How many brothers and sisters have you ? " 

" Not any." 

" Where are you going to live ? " 

" I don't know. I am going now to my Aunt Selina's." 

Tlie train a2i2>i'oached a station, and the lady got out, or she 
probably would have asked me a great deal more. At tlic 
station following that, the two silent ladies left, and I was alone 
again. Tlie first thing I did was to eat my tarts and throw 
away the paper bag. After that I fell asleep, and remembered 
no more till the guard's surly voice woke me. 

" This is Nettleby, if you are going to get out. He said 
something about some luggage. How much is it ? " 

" A large box and a small one, and two carpet-bags. ' Miss 
Hereford, passenger to Nettleby,' is written on them. Can you 
please to tell me whether it is far to Mr. Edwin Barley's ? " 

" I don't know any Mr. Edwin Barley. Jem," added he, to 
one of the porters, " see after her. I'm going to hand out licr 
things." 

" Where do you want to go, miss ? " the porter asked. 

" To Mr. Edwin Barley's. They told me I must get out at 



4 ANNE HEREFORD. 

.Nettleby Station, and ask to be sent on, unless a carriage met 
me liere." 

" You must mean Mr. Edwin Barley of Hallam." 

" Yes, that's it. Is it far ? " 

" Well, liallam's five miles off, and the house is a mile on 
this side of it. There's no rail, miss ; you must go by the 
omnibus." 

" But you arc sure that Mrs. Edwin Barley has not come to 
meet me '? " I asked, feeling a sort of chill creep over me. 

Not any one had come, and the porter put me into the 
omnibus with some more passengers. What a long drive it 
seemed ! And the hedges and trees looked very dreary, for 
the shades of evening were gathering. 

At the fo t of a hill the omnibus piilled up, and a man who 
had sat by the driver came round. " Ain't there somebody 
inside for Mr. Edwin Barley's ? " 

" Yes ; I am." 

I got out, and the luggage was put upon the ground. " Two 
shillings, miss," said the man. 

" Two shillings ! " I repeated, in great alarm. 

" Why, did you expect to come for one — and inside too ! It's 
uncommon cheap, is this omnibus." 

" Oh, it is not that. But I have not any money." 

" Not got any money ! " 

'■ They did not give me any. They gave the guard my fare 
ti) Nettleby. Mr. Sterling said I should be sure to be met." 

The man went up to the driver. " I say. Bill, this child says 
she's got no money." 

The driver turned round and looked at me. " We can call 
to-morrow for it ; I dare say it's all right. Do you belong to 
tlie Barleys, miss ? " 

" Mrs. Edwin Barley is my aunt. I am come on a visit to her." 

" Oh, it's all right. Get up, Joe." 

" But ideasc," said I, stopping the man, in an agony of fear 
— for I could see no house or sign of one, excej)t a small, round, 
low building that might contain one room — " which is Mr. 
Edwin Barley's ? Am I to stay in the road with the boxes ? " 

The man laughed, said he had supposed I knew, and began 



MRS. EDWIN BARLEY. 5 

shouting out, "Here, missis! " two or three times. '" You see 
that big green gate, miss ? " he added to me. " Well, that 
leads up to Mr. Barley's, and that's his lodge." 

A woman came out of the lodge, in answer to the shouts, and 
opened the gate. The man explained, put the trunks inside 
the gate, and the omnibus drove on. 

" I beg pardon that I can't go uj) to the house with you, 
miss, but it's not far, and you can't miss it," said she. " I have 
got my baby sick in its cradle, and dare not leave it alone. 
You are little Miss Hereford '? " 

" Yes." 

" It's odd they never sent to meet you at Nettleby, if they 
knew you were coming ! But they have visitors at the house, 
and jjerhajis young madam forgot it. Straight on, miss, and 
you'll soon come to the hall-door ; go up the stejis, and give a 
good pull at the bell." 

There was no help for it : I had to go ujj the gloomy avenue 
alone. It Avas a broad gravel drive, wide enough for three 
carriages to pass each other ; a thick grove of trees on either 
side. The road wound round, and I had just got in sight of the 
house when I was startled considerably by what proved to be 
a man's head projecting beyond the trees. He aj)peared to 
be gazing steadfastly at the house, but turned his face suddenly 
at my approach. But for that, I might not have observed him. 
Tlie face looked dark, ugly, menacing; and I started with a 
sjiring to the other side of the way. 

I did not speak to him, or he to me, but my heart beat with 
fear, and I was glad enough to see lights from several of the 
windows in front of me. I thought it a very large house ; I 
found afterwards that it contained eighteen rooms, and some of 
them small : but then we had lived in a pretty cottage of six. 
There was no need to ring. At the open door stood a man and 
a maid-servant, laughing and talking. 

" Who are you ? " cried tlie girl. 

" I want Mrs. Edwin Barley." 

" Then I think want must be your master," she returned. " It 
is somebody from Hallam, I suppose. Mr.s. Edwin Barley 
cannot possibly see you to-night." 



6 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" You just go away, little girl," added the footman. *' You 
must come to-morrow inorniug, if you Avant anything." 

Their manner was so authoritative that I felt frightened, 
almost crying as I stood. What if they should really turn me 
away ! 

" Why don't you go ? " asked the girl, sharply. 

" I have nowhere to go to. My boxes are down at the gate." 

" Why, who are you ? " she ino[uired, in a quick tone. 

" I am Miss Hereford." 

" Heart alive ! " she whispered to the man. " I beg your 
pardon, miss. I'll call Charlotte Delves." 

" What's that? Who will you call? " broke from an angry 
voice at the back of the hall. " Call ' Charlotte Delves,' will 
you ? Go in to your work this instant, you insolent girl. Do 
you hear me, Jemima ? " 

" I didn't know you were there. Miss Delves," was the half- 
saucy, half-deprecating answer. " The young lady has come — 
Miss Hereford." 

A tall, slight, good-looking woman of thirty-five or thirty-six 
came forward. I could not tell whether she was a lady or a 
smart maid. She wore a small, stylish cap, and a handsome 
muslin gown with flounces — which were in fashion then. Her 
eyes were light ; long, light curls fell on either side her face 
and her address was good. 

" How do you do. Miss Hereford ? " she said, taking my 
hand. " Come in, my dear. We did not expect you until next 
week. Mrs. Barley is in the drawing-room." 

" Mrs, Barley is in her chamber, dressing for dinner," con- 
tended Jemima, from the back of the hall, as if intent on 
aggravation. 

Miss Delves made no reply. She ran upstairs, and opened a 
door, from whence came a warm glow of firelight. " Wait 
there a moment," she said, looking round at me. " Mrs. Edwin 
Barley, the child has come." 

" What child ? " returned a voice — a young, gay, sweet voice. 

" Little Miss Hereford." 

" My goodness ! Come to-day ! And I with no mourning 
about me, to speak of, Well, let her come in." 



MRS. EDWIN BARLEY. 7 

1 kuow my Auut Selina again in a momcut. She had stayed 
with lis in Devonshire for three months two years before, 
when she was nineteen. The same lovely face, with its 
laughing blue eyes, and its shining golden hair. She wore 
an embroidered clear-muslin white dress, with low body and 
sleeves, and a few black ribbons ; jet bracelets, and a long jet 
chain. 

" You darling child ! But what made you come in this 
strange way, without notice ? " 

" Mr. Sterling said he wrote word to you, Selina, that I 
should bo here on Thursday. You ought to have had the letter 
yesterday." 

" Well, so he did write ; but I thought — how stupid I must 
have been ! " she interrupted, with a sudden laugh. " I declare 
I took it to mean next Thursday. But you are all the more 
welcome, dear. Yoii have grown prettier, Anne, with those 
deep eyes of yours." 

I stood before her very gravely. I had dreaded the meeting, 
believing it would be one of sobs and lamentation for my 
mother ; not taking into account how careless and light-headed 
Selina was. I had called her " Selina," since, a little girl of 
four, I had gone on a visit to Keppe-Carew. 

Taking off my bonnet, she kissed me several times, and then 
held me before her by my hands as she sat on the sofa. Miss 
Delves went oiit and closed the door. 

" They are not home from shooting yet, Anne, so we can 
have a little talk to ourselves. When they go to the far covers, 
there's no knowing when they'll be in : two nights ago they 
kept me waiting dinner until eight o'clock." 

" Who did. Aunt Selina ? " 

" Mr. Barley, and the rest," she answered, carelessly. " Anne, 
how very strange it was that your mamma should have died so 
quickly at the last ! It was only two Aveeks before her death 
that she wrote to tell me she was ill." 

" She had been ill longer than that. Aunt Selina — - — " 

" Call me Selina, child." 

" But she did not tell any one until she knew there was 
danger. She did not tell nie." 



8 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" It was a renewal of that old complaint she had in India — 
that inward complaint." 

I turned my head and ray wet eyes from her, " They told 
mc it was her heart, Selina." 

" Yes ; in a measure ; that had something to do with it. It 
must have been a sad parting, Anne. Why, child, you arc 
sobbing ! " 

"rioasc don't talk of it ! " 

" But I must talk of it : I like to have my curiosity gratified," 
she said, in her quick way. "Did the doctors say from the 
first that there was no hope ? " 

" Mamma knew there was no hope when she wrote to you. 
Slie had told me so the day before." 

" 1 wonder she told you at all." 

'• Oh, Selina ! that fortnight was too short for the leave- 
taking ; for all she had to say to me. It will be years, perhaj^s, 
before we meet again." 

" Meet again ! Meet where ? " 

" In heaven ! " 

" You are a strange child ! " exclaimed Selina, looking at me 
very steadfastly. " Ursula has infected you, I see, with her 
serious notions. I used to tell her there was time enough for 
it years hence." 

" And mamma used to tell you that perhaps, if you put off 
and put off", the years hence might never come for you, Selina." 

" What ! you remember that, do you ? " she said, with a 
smile. " Yes, she used to lecture me ; she was fifteen years 
older than I, and assumed the right to do so." 

" Mamma never lectured ; what she said was always kind and 
gentle," was my sobbing answer. 

"Yes, yes. You think me insensible now, Anne"; but my 
grief is over — that is, the violence of the grief. When the 
letter came to say Ursula was dead, I cried the whole day, 
never ceasing." 

" Mamma had a warning of her death," I continued ; for it 
was one of the things she had charged me to tell to her sister 
Selina. 

" Had a what,'child ? " 



MRS. EDWJN BARLEY. 9 

^' A warning. The niglit before she was taken ill — I mean 
dangerously ill — she dreamt she saw pajia in a most hcautiful 
place, all light and flowers ; no place on earth conld ever have 
been so beautiful except the Garden of Eden. He beckoned 
her to come to him, and j)ointed to a vacant place by his side, 
saying, ' It is ready for you now, Ursula.' Mamma awoke then, 
and the words were sounding in her ears ; she could have felt 
sure that they were positively sj)oken." 

" And you can tell me this with a grave face, calling it a 
warning ! " exclaimed Selina. 

" Mamma charged me to tell it you. She related the dream 
to us the next morning— — " 

" Us ! Whom do you mean, child ? " 

" Me and our old maid Betty. She was my nurse, you know. 
Mamma said what a pleasant dream it was, that she was sorry 
to awake from it ; but after she grew ill, she said she knew it 
was sent as a warning." 

Selina laughed. " You have lived boxed uji with that stupid 
old Betty and your mamma, child, until you are like a grave 
little woman. Ursula was always sujjerstitious. You will say 
you believe in ghosts next." 

" No, I do not believe in ghosts. I do in warnings. Mamma 
said that never a Keppe-Carew died yet without being warned 
of it : though few of them had noticed it at the time." 

" There, that will do, Anne. I am a Carew, and I don't 
want to be frightened into watching for a ' warning.' You are 
a Carew also, on the mother's side. Do you know, my poor 
child, that you are not left well off?" 

" Yes ; mamma has told me all. I don't mind." 

"Don't mind!" echoed Selina, with another light laugh. 
" That's because you don't understand, Anne. "What little 
your mamma has left has been sunk in an annuity for your 
education^ — eighty or a hundred pounds a year, until you are 
eighteen. There's something more, I believe, for clothes and 
incidental expenses." 

" I said I did not mind, Selina, because I am nc t afraid of 
getting my own living. Mamma said that a young lady, well- 
educated and of good birth, can always command a good 



10 ANNE HEREFORD. 

position as governess. She told me not to fear, for God would 
take care of me." 

" Some money might be desirable for all that," returned my 
aunt, in a tone that sounded full of irreverence to my un- 
accustomed ears. " The maddest step Colonel Hereford ever 
took -was that of selling out. He thought to better himself, 
and he spent and lost the money, leaving your mamma with 
very little when he died." 

" I don't think mamma cared much for money, Selina." 

" I don't think she did, or she would not have taken matters 
so quietly. Do you remember, Anne, how she used to go on at 
me when I said I should marry Edwin Barley ? " 

" Yes ; mamma said how very wrong it would be of you to 
marry for money." 

" Quite true. She used to put her hands to her ears when I 
said I hated him. Now, what are those earnest eyes of yours 
searching me for ? " 

" Do you hate him, Selina ? " 

" I am not dying of love for him, you strange child." 

" One day a poor boy had a monkey before the window, 
and you said Mr. Edwin Barley was as ugly as that. Is he 
ugly ? " _ 

Selina burst into a peal of laughter. " Oh, he is very hand- 
some, Anne ; as handsome as the day : when you see him you 

shall tell me if you don't think so. I What is the 

matter ? What are you looking at ? " 

As I stood before my aunt, the door behind her seemed to be 
pushed gently open. I had thought some one was coming in ; 
and said so. 

" The fire-light must have deceived you, Anne. That door is 
kept bolted ; it leads to a passage communicating with my bed- 
room, but we do not use it." 

" I am certain that I saw it oi^en," was my answer ; and an 
unpleasant, fanciful thought came over me that it might be the 
man I saw in the avenue. " It is shut now ; it shut again when 
I spoke." 

She rose, walked to the door, and tried to open it, but it was 
ftist. 



MRS. EDWIN BARLEY. 11 

" You see, Anne. Don't you get fanciful, my dear ; that is 
•^\liat your mamma was." But I shook my lieacl in answer. 

" Sclina, did not Mr. Edwin Barley want me to go to Mrs. 
Hemson's instead of coming here ? " 

" Who told you that ? " 

" I heard Mr. Sterling talking of it with mamma." 

" Mr. Edwin Barley did, little woman. Did you hear why 
he wished it ? " 

" No." 

" You should have heard that, it was so flattering to me. Ho 
thought I was too giddy to take charge of a young lady." 

" Did he ? " 

" But Ursula would not accej)t the objection. It could not 
matter for a few weeks, she \\Tote to Mr. Edwin Barley, whether 
I were giddy or serious, and she coiild not think of consigning 
you, even temporarily, to Mrs. Hemson. Ah ! my cousin 
Frances Carew and I took exactly opposite courses, Anne ; I 
married for money, she for love. She met an attractive stranger 
at a watering-place, and married him." 

" And it was not right ? " 

" It was all wrong. He was a tradesman. A good-looking, 
educated man — I grant that ; but a tradesman. Never was such 
a thing heard of, as for a Carew to stoop to that. You see, 
Anne, she had learnt to like him before she knew anything of 
his position, or who he was. He was a visitor at the place, just 
as she was. Of course she ought to have given him up. Not 
she ; she gave herself and her money to him, and a very pretty 
little fortune she had." 

" Did she marry in disobedience ? " 

" That cannot be charged upon her, for she was alone in the 
world, and her o^-n mistress. But a Carew of Kejipe-Carew 
ought to have known better." 

" She was not of Keppe-Carew, Selina." 

" She was. Don't you know that, Anne ? Her father was 
Carew of Keppe-Carew ; and when he died without a son, his 
brother, your mamma's father and mine, succeeded to Keppe- 
Carew. He died in his turn, leaving no son, and Keppe- 
Carew and its broad lands went to a distant relative, the malo 



12 ANNE HEREFORD. 

]i»jir. We three Carews have all married badly, in one way or 
anotlioi-.'' 

Mrs. Edwin Barley was speaking dreamily then, as if for- 
getting any one heard her, 

" She, Frances, married Hemson the tradesman, placing a 
barrier between herself and her family ; Ursula married Colonel 
Hereford, to wear out a few of her best years in India, and then 
to die in poverty, and leave a child unprovided for ; and I have 
married Edwin Barley. Which is the worst, I wonder ? " 

I thought over what she said in my busy brain. Few children 
had so active a one. 

" Selina, you say you married Mr. Edwin Barley because he 
is rich." 

" Well ? " 

" Why did you, when you were rich yourself ? " 

" / rich ■? You will count riches differently when you are 
older. Why, Anne, do you know what my fortune was ? Four 
thousand jiounds. Ursula had the same, and she and Colonel 
Hereford spent it. That put a notion into my father's head, 
ajad he tied mine up tight enough, securing it to my absolute 
use until I die." 

" Will it be Mr. Barley's when you die, Selina ? " 

" Were I to die before next Monday, it would be yours, pussy, 
for it is so settled. After that, if I die without a will, it would 
go to Mr. Edwin Barley ; but I shall be of age next Monday, 
and then can make one. I think it must be my first care — a 
will," she laughed. " So munificent a sum to dispose of ! Shall 
I leave it to you ? " 

The room-door was pushed open, and some one entered. A 
shortish man, of nearly forty years, in a velveteen shooting-coat 
and gaiters, and with a dark face : the same dark face that bad 
looked out from the trees in the avenue. I shrank round Selina 
with a sudden fear. Not tliat the features were particularly 
ill-favoured in themselves, but so dark and stern. And the 
remembrance of the fright was on me still. 

" Where are you coming to, child ? " she said. " This is Mr, 
Edwin Barley." 



( 13 ) 
CHAPTER II. 

IN THE WOOD. 

That Mr. Edwin Barley ! My imagination liad been setting 
the face down for a robber's at least ; and the thought flashed 
over me — How could Selina have married him? Another 
tliought came with it — Had he been the intruder at the door ? 

" Who is that, Selina ? " he asked in a very strong, determined 
voice, but not an uni^leasing one. 

"Anne Hereford. Fancy my making so stupid a mistake as 
to conclude it was next Thursday the lawyer meant. And she 
lias had to find her way from Nettlcby in the best way she 
could." 

He looked at me with his black eyes, the blackest eyes I had 
ever seen. Either they wore a warning expression, or I fancied 
so, and I took it to mean I was not to say I saw him watching 
tlie house from the avenue. No fear, after that, that I should 
speak of it. 

" Did you walk from Nettleby, little one ? " 

" No, sir. I came in the omnibus to the gate." 

" She has been asking me if you were very handsome ; and 
I told her to wait and see," observed Selina, with a laugl-, and 
somehow it grated on my ears. He made no reply in words, 
but liis brow contracted a little. I noticed one thing — that he 
had very pretty teeth, white and even. 

" How is it you are home before the others ? " she resumed. 
" And where are they lingering ? Charlotte Delves says the 
dinner is spoiling." 

" They cannot be far behind," was Mr. Edsvin Barley's answer. 
'• I'll go and dress." 

As he went out of tlie room we heard sounds of voices and 
huighter. Selina oi)ened the window, and I stood by her. TJie 
night had grown clearer, the moon was bright. Three gentle- 
men, dressed something like Mr. Edwin Barley, were approach- 
ing the house with game, guns, and dogs. 



14 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Can you see them by this light, Anne ? " 

" I can see that two are young, and one looks old. He has 
grey hair." 

" Not very old, not more than fifty — but he is so stout. li 
is the jiarsou, Mr. Martin." 

" Do parsons go out shooting, Selina ? " 

" Only when they can get the chance," she laughed. " That 
young one is Philip King, a ward of Mr. Edwin Barley's. He 
and I are not friends at all, and I do what I can to vex him. 
He is terribly ill-tempered." 

« Is he ! " 

" He fell in love with me at Easter, the silly boy ! Fancy 
that ! One can't think it was in earnest, you know, but it 
really seemed like it. I asked him if he would like his ears 
boxed, and Mr. Edwin Barley gave us both a sharp talking-to, 
saying we ought to be sent to school again." 

" Both ! But if it was not your fault ? " 

" Mr. Edwin Barley said it was my fault," she returned, with 
a laugh. " Perhaps it was. He has not, as I believe, loved 
Philij) King since." 

" Who is the other one with them, Selina ? " I asked, as the 
gentlemen below disaj)peared. 

" The other is George Heneage— a great friend of mine. 
Hush ! he is coming up." 

George Heneage entered. A young man, tall, slender, active ; 
•with a pale, pleasant face, and dark wavy hair. He had a 
merry smile, and I thought I had never seen any one so nice- 
looking. Mrs. Edwin Barley moved to the fire, and he took 
her hand in greeting. 

" Well ! And how have you been all day ? Dull ? '•' 

It was the pleasantest voice in the world ! Quite a contrast 
to that of Mr. Edwin Barley. 

"Much any of you care whether I am dull or gay," she 
returned in answer, half laugliing, half pouting. " The 
partridges get all your time, just now. I might be dead and 
buried before any of you came home to see after me." 

" We must shoot, you know, Selina. One of us, at any rate, 
came home a couple of hours ago — Barley.". 



IN THE WOOD. 15 

•^Not to me. He has only just come iu. You must be 
mistaken." 

" Look here. I was away for a short time from tlio party, 
seeing after the horse I himcd the other day, and wlien I got 
back, Barley had vanished : they thought he had gone to look 

after me. Perhaps he had in one sense, the great simpleton 

Halloa ! who's that ? " he broke oft", seeing me for the first time, 
as I stood partly v/ithiu the shade of the windov.'-curtaiu. 

" It is little Anne Hereford. She has arrived a week before 
I expected her. Anne, come forward, and let Mr. Heueagc 
make love to you. It is a jjastime he favours." 

He lifted me up by the waist, looked at me, and put me down 
again. 

" A pretty little face to make love to. How old are you ? " 

" Eleven, sir." 

" Eleven ! " ho echoed, in surprise. '* I should have taken 
you for nine at the very most. Eleven ! " 

" And eleventeen in sober sense," interposed Soliua, in her 
lightest and most careless manner. " I suppose children are 
so who never live ■with brothers and sisters. You should hear 
her talk, George ! I tell her her mamma and nurse have made 
an old woman of her." 

" Dare I venture to your presence in this trim, Mrs. Edwin 
Barley?" 

The si)eaker was the Eeverend Mr. Martin, who came slowly 
in, pointing to his attire. 

" It is Barley's fault, and you must blame him, not me," he 
continued. " Barley invited me to say grace at your table to- 
day, and then disappeared, keeping us waiting for him until 
now, and giving me no time to go home and make myself 
presentable." 

" Never mind, Mr. Martin, there arc worse misfortunes at 
sea," she said, in that charmingly attractive manner tliut slie 
could sometimes use. "I have sat down with gentlemen iu 
shooting-coats before to-day, and enjoyed my dinner none the 
worse for it. Is that you, Miss Delves '? " 

Footsteps were passing the open door, and Miss Delves 
came in. 



1(5 ANNE IIEREFOltD. 

"Did you speak, Mrs. Edwin Barley ? " 

" Yes. Take this cliild, please : she must have some tea. 
Anne dear, ask for anything to eat that you best fancy. You 
shall come up again after dinner." 

We went to a small jiarlour on the ground floor — Miss 
Delves said it was her own sitting-room — and she rang the 
bell. The maid who had been gossiping at the front-door came 
in to answer it. 

" Are you at tea still, Jemima ? " 

" Yes, Miss Delves." 

" I thought so. There's no regularity here unless I'm every- 
where about myself. Bring in a cup for Miss Hereford, and 
some bread and butter." 

They both left the room. I supposed that Miss Delves was 
going to dine presently, for a cloth was spread over one end of 
the table, with a knife and silver forks, the cruet-stand and 
salt-cellar, glasses, and a decanter of wine. Presently Jemima 
came back with a small tray, that had my tea upon it. She 
seemed a free-and-easy sort of girl, sat down in a chair, and 
began chattering. Another servant came in with a small jar of 
preserves. They called her Sarah. 

" Miss Delves has sent some jam for the young lady, if she'd 
like it. Or will she take a slice of cold meat first, she says ? " 

" 111 have the jam, please." 

" That's right, miss," laughed Jemima. " Sweets is good." 

" Aren't you coming to your tea, Jemima ? There'll be a 
fuss if she comes in and finds you have not begun it." 

" Bother the tea ! We are not obliged to swallow it down 
just at the minute she pleases," was the answer of Jemima. 

" I say," exclaimed the other suddenly, " what do you think 
I saw '? Young King " 

Jemima gave a warning shake of the head, and pointed to 
me. The conversation was continued in a whisj)er, in which I 
once caught the words, " that handsome George Hen cage." 
Presently steps were heard ai^proacliing, and the two maids 
disturbed themselves. Sarah caught up the plate of bread and 
butter, and stood as if she were handing it to me, and Jemima 
stirred the fire vigorously. It had been warm in the day, but 



IN THE WOOD. 17 

tlie bit of liglited fire in the grate looked pleasant in the autumn 
evening. Tlie footsteps passed on. 

" How stupid you are, Sarah ! startling one for nothing ! '' 
exclaimed Jemima. 

" I thought it was Charlotte Delves. It soimded just like 
her foot." 

" She's in the kitchen, and won't come out of it till the 
dinner's gone in. She's in one of her tempers to-day." 

" Is Charlotte Delves the mistress ? " I could not helji 
asking. 

Both the maids burst out laughing. " She would like to be, 
miss ; and she is, too, in many things," answered Jemima. 
" When young madam came home first " 

" Hush, Jemima ! she may go and rejjeat it again." 

Jemima looked at me. " No : she does not look like it. Y(ju 
won't go and repeat in the drawing-room the nonsense wo 
foolish servants talk, will you, Miss Hereford ? " 

" Of course I will not. Mamma taught me never to carry 
tales ; she said it made mischief." 

" And so it does, miss," cried Jemima. " Your mamma was 
a nice lady, I'm sure ! Was she not Mrs. Edwin Barley's 
sister ? " 

Before I had time to answer, Charlotte Delves came in. We 
had not heard her, and I thought she must have crept up 
on tiptoe. Sarah made her escape. Jemima took up the 
jam-pot. 

" What are you waiting for ? " she demanded, with asperity. 

" I came in to see if the young lady wanted anything, 
ma'am." 

" When Miss Hereford wants anything, she will ring." 

Jemima retired. I went on with my tea, and Miss Delves 
began asking me questions about home and mamma. We were 
interrupted by a footman. He was bringing the fish out of the 
dining-room, and he laid the dish down on the table. Miss 
Delves turned her chair towards it, and began her dinner. I 
found that this was her usual manner of dining, but I thought 
it a curious one. Tlie dishes, as they came out of the dining- 
room, were placed before her, and she helped herself. Her other 

Anne Hereford. •^ 



18 ANNE HEREFORD. 

meais she took wlien she pleased, Jemima generally \\aiting 
upon her. I did wonder who she could be. 

It seemed that I had to sit there a long time. I was then 
taken upstairs by Jemima, and my hair brushed. It hung 
down in curls all round, and Jemima pleased me by saying it 
was the loveliest brown hair she had ever seen. Then I was 
marshalled to the drawing-room. Jemima opened the door 
quietly, and I went in, seen, I believe, by no one. It was a 
large room, three-cornered in shape, quite full of bright 
furniture. Selina's grand piano was in one of the angles. 

Standing before the fire, talking, were the clergyman and 
Mr. Edwin Barley. A stranger might have taken one for the 
other, for the clergyman was in his sporting clothes, and Mr. 
Barley was all in black, with a white neckcloth. On a distant 
sofa, apparently reading a nev/spaper, sat Philip King ; his 
features were handsome, but they had a very cross, disagreeable 
expression. He held the newspaper nearly level with his face, 
and I saw that his eyes, instead of being on it, were watching 
the movements of Mrs. Edwin Barley. She was at the piano, 
not so much singing or playing, as trying scraps of songs and 
pieces. Mr. Heneage was standing by and talking to her. I 
went quietly round by the chairs at the back, aud sat down on 
the low footstool at the corner of the hearth. The clergyman 
saw me and smiled. Mr. Barley did not ; he stood with his 
back to me. He also seemed to be watching the piano, or 
those at it, while he spoke in low, confidential tones with the 
clergyman. 

"I disagree with you entirely, Barley," Mr. Martin was 
saying. " Rely upon it, he will be all the better and happier 
for following a profession. V/hy ! at Easter he made up his 
mind to read for the Bar ! " 

"Young men are changeable as the wind, especially those 
whom fortune has placed at ease in the world," replied Mi*. 
Barley. " Philip was red-hot for the Bar at Easter, as you 
observe; but something appears to have set him against it 
now." 

" You, as his guardian and trustee, should urge him to take 
it up ; or, if not that, something else. A life of idleness plays 



TN TllK \V(H)I>. 19 

the very ruiu with some natures ; and it strikes me that Philip 
King has no great resources within him to counteract the mis- 
chief of no occupation. "What is the amount of his property ? " 
resumed Mr. Martin, after a pause. 

" The estate brings in about eighteen hundred a year." 

" Nonsense ! I thought it was only ten or twelve." 

" Eighteen, full. Eeginald's was a long minority, you know." 

" Well, if it brought in eight-and-twenty, I should still say 
give him a profession. Let him have some legitimate work ; 
occuj^y his hands and his head, and they won't get into mis- 
chief. That's sound advice, mind, Barley." 

" Quite sound," rejoined Mr. Barley ; but there was a tone iu 
his voice throughout that to me seemed to tell either of want 
of sincerity or else of a knowledge that to urge a profession on 
Philip King would be wrong and useless. At this j^eriod of 
my life people used to reproach me with taking up prejudices, 
likes and dislikes ; as I grew older, I knew that God had gifted 
me in an eminent degree with the faculty of reading human 
countenances and human tones. 

" I have no power to force a profession upon him," resumed 
Mr. Edwin Barley ; " and I should not exercise it if I had. 
Shall I tell you why ? " 

"-^ell?" 

" I don't think his lungs are sound. In my opinion, he is 
likely to go off as his brother did." 

" Of consumption ! " hastily muttered the clergyman : and 
Mr. Edwin Barley nodded. 

" Therefore, why urge him to fag at acquiring a profession 
that he may not live to exercise ? " continued Mr. Barley. " He 
looks anything but well ; he is nothing like as robust as he was 
at Easter." 

Mr. Martin turned his head and attentively scanned the face 
of Philip King. " I don't see anything the matter with him, 
Barley, except that he looks uncommonly cross. I hope you 
are mistaken." 

" I hope I am. I saw a whole row of medicine phials iu his 
room yesterday : when 1 inquired what they did there, he told 
me they contained steel medicine — tonics — the physician at 



20 ANNE HEREFORP. 

Oxford had ordered them. Did you ever notice him at dinner 
■ — what he eats ? " 
" Not particuhxrly." 

" Do so, then, the next opportunity. He takes scarcely any- 
thing. The commencement of Eeginald's malady was loss of 
appetite : the doctors prescribed tonics for him. But they did 
not succeed in saving him." 

Once more Mr. Martin turned his eyes on Philip King. 
" How old was Reginald King when he died ? " 

" Twenty-three. Three years older than Philiji is now." 
"Well, poor fellow, I hope he will outlive his weakness, 
whatever may cause it, and get strong again. That money of 
his would be a nice windfall for some one to drop into," added 
the clergyman, after a pause. " Who is heir-at-law ? " 
" I am." 
" You ! " 

« Of course I am," was the quiet reply of Mr. Edwin Barley. 

" Nurse him up, nurse him up, then," said the clergyman, 

jokingly. " Lest, if anything did happen, the world should 

say you had not done your best to prevent it ; for you know you 

are a dear lover of money. Barley." 

There may have been a great deal more said, but I did not 
hear. My head had sought the wall for its resting-place, and 
sleep stole over me. 

What I felt most glad of, the next morning, was to get my 
purse. There were twenty-seven shillings in it ; and old Betty 
had caused it to be put in one of the boxes, vexing me. " People 
in the train might rob me of it," she said. 

Jemima waited on me at dressing, and I had breakfast in 
Miss Delves's parlour. Afterwards I went up to Mrs. Edwin 
Barley in the drawing-room. She was in mourning, deej) as 
mine. 

" I had been tempted to put it off for a cool dress yesterday 
evening," she said to me. " What wdth dinner, and the fire 
they unll have, though I am sure it is not weather for it, I feel 
melted in black. The fire is kept large to please Philip King. 
So Miss Delves io formed me when I remonstrated against it 
the other day. He must be of a chilly nature," 



m THE WOOD. 21 

Eemembermg what I had heard said the previous night, I 
thoiight he might be. But the words had aftbrded tlio oppor- 
tunity for a q[uestion that I was longing, in my curiosity, to put. 

" Selina, who is Miss Delves ? Is she a lady or a servant ? " 

" You had better not call her a servant, Anne ; she would 
never forgive it," answered Selina, with a laugh. " She is a 
relative of Mr. Edwin Barley's." 

" Then, why does she not sit with you, and dine at table?" 

"Because I do not choose that she shall sit with me, and 
dine at table," was the resentful, haughty retort ; and I could 
see that there had been some past unpleasantness in regard to 
Miss Delves. " When Mr. Edwin Barley's mother died, who 
used to live with him, Charlotte Delves came here as mistress 
of the house. That was all very well so long as there was no 
legitimate mistress, but ages went on, and I came to it. She 
assumed a great deal. I found she was planted down at table 
with us, and made herself my companion in the drawing-room 
at will. I did not like it ; and one day I told my husband so 
in her presence. I said that I must be sole mistress in my 
own house, and quitted the room, leaving them to settle it. 
Since then she has taken the parlour for her sitting-room, and 
looks to the household, as she did before. In short. Miss 
Delves is housekeej)er. I have no objection to that ; it saves 
me trouble, and I know nothing of domestic management. Now 
and then I invite her to take tea with us, or to a di-ive with me 
in the pony carriage, and we are vastly polite to each other 
always." 

" But if you do not like her " 

" Like her ! " interrupted Selina. " My dear child, Ave hate 
each other like poison. It was not in human nature, you know, 
for her not to feel my entrance to the house as a wrong, dis- 
j)lacing her from her post, and from the influence she had 
contrived to acquire over Mr. Edwin Barley. They were as 
intimate as brother and sister ; and I believe he is the only 
living being she cares for in the whole world. When I took a 
high tone with her, it exasperated her all the more against me, 
there's no doubt of it ; and she repays it by carrying petty tales 
of me to Mr. Edwin Barley." 



22 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" And whose part did lie take, Selina ! " 

" Mine, of course — always ! " she returned, with a forcible 
emphasis on the first word. " But it has never been open 
warfixrc between me and Miss Delves, Anne ; you must under- 
stand that. Should anything of the sort arise, she would have 
to (piit the house. A bitter pill that would bo, for she has no 
money, and would have to go out as housekeeper in reality, 
or something of the kind. My occupation would be gone 
then." 

" What occupation ? " 

" That of saying and doing all sorts of wild things to make 
her think ill of me. Sho^goes and whispers them to Mr. Edwin 
Barley. He listens to her — I know he does, and that provokes 
me. Well, little pet, what are those honest brown eyes of 
yours longing to say ? " 

" Why did you marry him, Selina ? " 

" Peoi)le say for money, Anne. I say it was fate." 

" He persuaded you, perhaps ? " 

" He did. Persuaded, j)ressed, worried me. He was two 
years talking me into it. Better, perhaps, that he had given 
his great love elsewhere ! Better for him, possibly, that he had 
married Charlotte Delves ! " 

" But did he want to marry Charlotte Delves ? " 

" Never. I don't believe that even the thought ever entered 
his head. The servants say she used to hope it ; but they 
rattle nonsense at random. Edwin Barley never cared but for 
two things in the world : myself and money." 

" Money ? " 

" Money, Anne. Pretty little pieces of gold and silver ; 
new, crisj) bank-notes ; yellow old deeds of i:)archment, repre- 
senting houses and lands. He cares for money almost as much 
as for me ; and he will care for it more than for me in time. 
Who's this ? " 

It was Philip King. He came in, looking more cross, if 
possible, than he did the j;)revious night. His face shone oiit 
pale and sickly, too, in the bright morning sun. Seliua spoke, 
but did not offer her hand. 

" Good-morning, Mr. King ; I Inspc you feel better to-day. 



IN THE WOOD. 23 

You did not get down to breakfast, I understand. Ncithei" 
did I." 

" I did get down to breakfast," ho answered, speaking as 
if sometliing had very much put him out. " I took it with 
Mr. Edwin Barley in his study." 

" Leaving George Heneage to breakfast alone. You two 
polite men ! Had I knovm that, I would have come down and 
breakfasted with him." 

That she said this in. a spirit of mischief, in a manner most 
especially calculated to provoke him, I saw by the saucy look 
that shot from her bright blue eyes. 

" I think you and Heneage breakfast together quite often 
enough as it is, Mrs. Edwin Barley." 

" You do ? Then, if I were you, sir, I would have the grace 
to keep such thoughts to myself: or tell them to Mr. Edwin 
Barley, if you like. He might offer you a premium for tlicm 
— who knows ? " 

Philip King was getting into an angry heat. 

" I hope you have tolerably strong shoulders," she resumed, 
as if struck Avith some sudden thought. 

" Why so ? " 

" George Heneage intends to try his cane upon tliem on the 
next convenient day." 

His lips turned white. 

" Mrs. Barley, what do you mean ? " 

" Just what I say. You have taken to jieep and i)ry after 
me — whether set on by any one, or from some worthy motive 
of your own, you best know. It will not serve joxi, Philij) 
King. If there is one thing more detestable than another, it 
is that of spying. I happened to mention this new pastime of 
yours before Mr. Heneage, and he observed that he had a cane 
somewhere. That's all." 

The intense aggravation with which she said it was enough 
to rouse the ire of one less excitable than Philip King. He 
was breaking out in abuse of Mr. Heneage, when the latter 
happened to come in. A few menacing words, a dark loolv or 
two from either side, and then came the quarrel. 

A quarrel that terrified me. I ran out of the room ; I ran 



24 ANNE HEREFORD. 

back again; I don't know what I did. Mrs. Edwin Barley 
seemed almost as excited as they were : it was not the first 
time I had seen her in a passion. She called out (taking the 
words from the old ballad, " Lord Thomas "), that she cared 
more for the little finger of George Heneage tlian for the 
Avhole body of ill-conditioned Philij) King. I knew it was 
only one of her wild sayings : when in a passion she did not 
mind what she said, or whom she offended. I knew that this 
present quarrel was altogether Selina's fault — that her love of 
provocation had brought it on. Mr. Edwin Barley had gone 
over to his brother's ; and it was well, perhaps, that it was so. 

Jemima appeared on the stairs, carrying up a pail — there 
was no second staircase to the house. " What is the matter, 
Miss Hereford '? " she asked. " Goodness me ! how you are 
trembling ! " 

"They are quarrelling in there— Mr. Heneage and Mr. 
King. I am afraid they will fight." 

" Oh, it has come to that, has it ? " said Jemima, carelessly. 
" I thought it would. Never mind them. Miss Hereford ; 
they'll not hurt you." 

She tripped upstairs with the pail, as if a quarrel were the 
most natural event in the world, and I looked into the room 
again. Mr. Heneage held Thilip King by the collar of the coat. 

" Mark me ! " he was saying. " If I catch you dodging my 
movements again, if I hear of your being insolent to this lady, 
I'll shoot you with as little compunction as I would a partridge. 
There ! " 

" What is Mrs. Edwin Barley to you, that you should inter- 
fere?" retorted Philip King, his voice raised to a shriek. 
" And she ! Why does she. set herself to provoke me every 
liour of my life ? " 

" I interfere of right : by my long friendship with her, and by 
tlic respect I bear for her mother's memory. Now you know." 

Mr. Heneage gave a shake to the collar as he spoke, and I 
ran up to my room, there to sob out my terror. My heart was 
beating, my breatli catching itself in gasps. In my own 
peaceful home I had never seen or lieard the faintest shadow 
of a quarrel. 



IN THE WOOD. 25 

By-and-by Jemima came iu search of me. Mrs. Edwiu 
Barley was waiting fur me to go out in the pony-carriage. I 
bathed my face and my red eyes, was dressed, and went down. 
At the door stood a h^w open basket-chaise, large and wide, 
drawn by a pony. Mrs. Edwin Barley was already in it, and 
]\Ir. Heneagc stood waiting for me. He drove, and I sat on a 
stool at their feet. We went through green lanes, and over a 
pleasant common. Not a word was said about the recent 
quarrel ; but part of the time they spoke together in an under- 
tone, and I did not try to hear. We were away about two 
hours. 

" You can run about the grounds until your dinner's ready, 
if you like, Anne," Mrs. Barley said to me when we alighted. 
'• I dare say you feel cramped, sitting so long on that low seat." 

She went in with Mr. Heneage, the footman saying that 
some ladies were waiting. I ran away amidst the trees, and 
presently lost myself. As I stood, wondering which way to 
take, Mr. Edwin Barley and Philip King came through, arm- 
in-arm, on their way home, talking together eagerly. I thought 
Philip King was telling about the quarrel. 

It was no doubt unfortunate that my acquaintance with Mr. 
Edwin Barley should have begun with a fright. I was a most 
impressionable child, and could not get over that first fear. 
Every time I met him, my heart, as the saying runs, leaped into 
my mouth. He saw me and spoke. 

" So you have got back, Anne Hereford '? " 

" Yes, sir," I answered, my lips feelijig as if they were glued 
together. 

" Where's Mrs. Barley ? " 

" She has gone indoors, sir." 

" And George Heneage. Where's he ? " 

"He went in also, sir. John said some visitors were waiting 
to see Mrs. Barley." 

And to that he made no rejoinder, but went on with Philip 
King. 

Nothing more occurred that day to disturb the peace of the 
liouse. A gentleman, who called in the afternoon, was invited 
to dine, and stayed. Mrs. Edwin l^arky rang for me as soon 



2G ANNE HEREFORD. 

as slie went up to the drawing-rooni. I tliouglit how lovely 
she looked in her blacli net dress, and with the silver ornaments 
on her neck and arms. 

"What did you think of Mr. Philip King's temper this 
morning, Anne ? " she asked, as she stood near the fire and 
sipped the cup of coifee that John ha^ brought in. 

" Oh, Selina ! I never was so alarmed before." 

" You little goose ! But it was a specimen, was it not, of 
gentlemanly bearing ? " 

" I think — I mean I thought — that it was not Mr. King who 
was in fault," I said ; not, however, liking to say it. 

" You thought it was George Heneage, I supj)ose. Ah ! but 
you don't know all, Anne ; the scenes behind the curtain are 
hidden from you. Philip King has wanted a chastisement this 
fortnight past ; and he got it. Unless he alters his policy, he 
will get one of a different nature. Mr. Heneage will as surely 
cane him as that I stand here." 

" Why do you like Mr. Heneage so much, Selina ? " 

" I like him better than any one I know, Anne. Not with the 
sort of liking, however, that Mr. Philip Kin"g would insinuate, 
the worthy youth ! Though it is great fun," she added, with a 
merry laugh, " to let the young gentleman thiuk I do. I have 
known George Heneage a long time : he used to visit at Kei)i)e- 
Carew, and be as one of ourselves. I could not like a brother, 
if I had one, more than I do George Heneage. And Mr. Philip 
King and his ally, Charlotte ])elves, tell tales of me to my 
husband ! It is as good as a comedy." 

A comedy ! If she "could only have foreseen the comedy's 
ending ! 

On the following morning, Saturday, they all went out shoot- 
ing again. Mrs. Edwin Barley had visitors in the forenoon, 
and afterwards she drove over to Hallam in the pony carriage, 
with the little boy-groom Tom, not taking me. I was any- 
where : with Charlotte Delves ; with Jemima ; reading a fairy- 
tale I found ; playing " Poor Mary Anne " on the jjiano. As it 
grew towards dusk, and no one came home, I went strolling 
down the avenue, and met the pony carriage. Only Tom was 
in it. 



IN THE WOOD. 27 

" Where is Mrs. Edwiu Barley ? " 

" She is coming on, miss, with Mr. Heneage. He came up 
to the lodge-gate just as we got back." 

I went to the end of the avenne, but did not sec her. The 
woman at the lodge said they had taken the path on the left, 
which would equally bring them to the house, though by a 
greater round. I ran along it, and came to the pretty summer- 
house that stood where the ornamental grounds were railed off 
from the pasture at the back and the wood beyond. At the foot 
of the summer-house steps my aunt stood, straining her eyes on 
a letter, in the fading light ; George Heneage was looking over 
her shoulder, a gun in his hand. 

" You see what they say," he observed. " Rather peremptory, 
is it not ? " 

" George, you must go by the first train that starts from 
Nettleby," she returned. " You should not lose a minute ; the 
pony carriage will take you. Is that you, Anne ? " 

" I would give something to know what's up, and why I am 
called away in this fashion," was his rejoinder, spoken angrily. 
" They might let me alone until the term I was invited for here 
is at an end." 

Mrs. Edwin Barley laughed. " Perhaps our friend, Philip 
King, has favoured Heneage Grange with a communication, 
telling of your fancied misdoings." 

No doubt she spoke it lightly, neither believing her own 
M'ords nor heeding the fashion of them. But George Heneage 
took them seriously ; and it unfortunately happened that she 
ran up the steps at the same moment. A stir was heard in tlie 
summer-house. Mr. Heneage dashed in in time to see Philij) 
King escaping by the opj)osite door. 

The notion that he had been " sj^ying " was, of course, taken 
up by Mr. Heneage. With a passionate M'ord, he was speeding 
after him ; but Mrs. Edwin Barley cauglit his arm. 

" George, you shall not go. There might be murder done 
between you." 

" I'll pay him off" ; I'll make him remember it ! Pray rclcaso 
me. I beg your jiardon, Selina." 

For he had flung her hand away with rather too much force, 



2R ANNE HEEEFORD, 

in his storm of passion ; and was crashing through the opposite 
door and down the steps, in pursuit of Philip King. Both of 
them made straight for the wood ; but Philip King had a good 
start, and nothing in his hand ; George Hencagc had his gun. 
Solina alluded to it. 

" I hope it is not loaded ! Flying along with that rate, he 
might strike it against a tree, and be shot before he knows it. 
Anne, look here ! You are fleeter than I. Eun crosswise over 
that grass to the corner entrance ; it will take you to a path in 
the wood where you will just meet them. Tell Mr. Heneage, 
from me, that I command him to come back, and to let Philip 
King alone. I command it, in his mother's name." ■ 

I did not dare to refuse, and yet scarcely dared to go. 1 ran 
along, my heart beating. Arrived at the entrance indicated I 
plunged in, and went on down many turns and windings amidst 
the trees. They were not very dense, and were intersected 
by narrow paths. But no one could I see. 

And now arrived a small calamity. I had lost my way. 
How to trace an exit from the wood I knew not, and felt really 
frightened. Down I sat on an old stumj), and cried. What if 
I should have to stay there until morning ! 

Not so. A slight noise made me look up. Who should be 
standing near, his back against a tree, smoking a cigar and 
smiling at me, but Philij) King. 

" What is the grief, Miss Anne ? Have you met a wolf? " 

" I can't find my way out, sir." 

" Oh, I'll soon show you that. We are almost close to the 
south border. You " 

He stopped suddenly, turned his head, and looked attentively 
in a direction to the left. At that moment there came a report, 
something seemed to whizz through the air, and strike Philip 
King. He leaped up, and then fell to the ground with a 
scream. This was followed, so instantly that it seemed to be 
part and parcel of the scream, by a distant exclamation of 
dismay or of warning. From whom did it come ? 

Though not i)erfectly understanding what had occurred, or 
that Philij) King had received a fatal shot, I screamed also, and 
fell on my knees ; not fainting, but with a sick, horrible seusa- 



IN THE WOOD. 29 

tion of fear, such as perhaps no cliild ever before experienced. 
And the next thing I saw was Mr. Edwin Barley, coming 
towards us with his gun, not quite from the same direction as 
the shot, but very near it. I had been thinking that George 
Heneage must have done it, but another question arose now to 
my terrified heart : Couhl it have been Mr, Edwin Barley '? 

" Philip,, what is it ? " he asked, as he came up. " Has any 
one fired at you '? " 

" George Heneage," was the faint rejoinder. " I saw him. 
He stood there." 

With a motion of the eyes, rather than with aught else, poor 
Philip King pointed to the left, and Mr. Edwin Barley turned 
and looked, laying his gun against a tree. Nothing was to bo 
seen. 

" Are you sure, Philip ? " 

" I tell it you with my dying lips. I saw him." 

Not another word. Mr. Edwin Barley raised his head, but 
the face had grown still, and had an awful shade ujjon it — the 
same shade that mamma's first wore after she was dead. Mr. 
Barley put the head gently down, and stood looking at him. All 
in a moment he caught sight of me, and I think it startled him. 

" Are you there, yuu little imp '? " 

But the word, ugly though it sounds, was spoken in rough 
surprise, not in unkindness. I cried and shook, too terrified 
to give any answer. Mr. Barley stood uji before Philip King, 
so that I no longer saw him. 

" What were you doing in the wood ? " 

"I lost my way, and could not get out, sir," I sobbed, 
trembling lest he should press for further details, " That 
gentleman saw me, and was saying he would show me the way 
out, when he fell." 

" Had he been here long ? " 

" I don't know. I was crying a good while, and not looking 
up. It was only a minute ago that I saw him standing there." 

" Did you see Mr. Heneage fire '? " 

" Oh no, sir. I did not see Mr. Heneage at all." 

He took my hand, walked with me a few steps, and showed 
me a path that was rather wider than the others. 



30 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Go straiglit down here until you come to a cross-path, 
running right and left : it is not for. Take the one to the 
right, and it will bring you out in front of the house. Do you 
understand, little one ? " 

"Yes, sir," I answered, though in truth too agitated to 
understand distinctly, and only anxious to get away from him. 
Suppose he should shoot me ! was running through my foolish 
thoughts. 

"Make speed to the house, then," he resumed, "and see 
Charlotte Delves. Tell her what has occui*red : that Philip 
King has been shot, and that she must send help to convey 
him home. She miist also send at once for the doctor, and for 
the police. Can you remember all that ? " 

" Oh yes, sir. Is he much hurt ? " 

" He is dead, child. Now be as quick as you can. Do not 
tell your aunt what has happened : it would alarm her." 

I sped along quicker than any child ever sped before, and 
soon came to the cross-imth. But there I made a mistake : I 
went blindly on to the left, instead of to the right, and I came 
suddenly upon Mr. Heneage. He was standing quite still, 
leaning on his gun, his finger on his lip to impose silence and 
caution on me, and his face looked as I had never seen it look 
before, white as death. 

" Whose voice was that I heard talking to you ? " he asked, 
in a whisper. 

" Mr. Edwin Barley's. Oh, sir, don't stop me ; Mr. King is 
dead ! " 

" Dead ! Mr. King dead ? " 

" Yes, sir. Mr. Edwin Barley says so, and I am on my way 
to the house to tell Miss Delves to send for the police. Mr. 
Heneage, did you do it '? " 

" I ! You silly child ! " he returned, in accents of rebuke. 
" What in the world put that in your head ? I have been 
looking for Philip King — waiting here in the hope that he 
might pass. There, go along, cliild, and don't tremble so. 
That way : you are coming from the house, this." 

Back I went, my fears increasing. To an imaginative, ex- 
citable and timid nature, such as mine, all this was simply 



GOING OUT IN THE FOG. 31 

terrible. I did gain the house, but only to rush into tlie arms 
of Jemima, who hapi^ened to be in the liall, and fall into a fit 
of hysterical, nervous sobbing, clinging to her tightly, as if I 
could never let her go again. 

A pretty messenger, truly, in time of need ! 



CHAPTER III. 

GOING OUT IN THE FOG. 



Help had arrived from another quarter. A knot of labourers 
on the estate, going home from work, happened to choose the 
road through the wood, and Mr. Edwin Barley heard them. 

One of them, a young man they called Duff, was at the house 
almost as soon as I. He came into the hall, and saw mo 
clinging to Jemima. Nothing could have stopjicd my threatened 
fit of hysterics so eflectually as an interruption. Duff told his 
tale. The youug heir had been shot in the wood, he said. 
" Shot dead ! " 

" The young heir ! " cried Jemima, with a cry. She was at 
no loss to understand who was meant : it was what Philip King 
had been mostly styled since his brother's death. Charlotte 
Delves came forward as Duff was speaking. Duff took off his 
felt hat in deference to her, and explained. 

She turned as white as a sheet — white as George Heneage 
had looked— and sat down on a chair. Duff had not mentioned 
George Heneage's name, only Mr. Edwin Barley's : j^erhaps 
she thought it was the latter who had fired the shot. 

" It must have been an accident, Duff. They are so careless 
with their guns ! " 

"No, ma'am, it was murder! Leastways, that's what they 
are saying." 

" He cannot be dead." 

" He's as dead as a door-nail ! " afiirmed Duff, with decision. 
" I can't be mistaken in a dead man. I've seen enough of 'em, 
father being the grave-digger. They are bringing him on, 
ma'am, now." 



32 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Even as Duff spoke, sounds of the approach stole on the air 
from the distance — the measured tread of feet that hear a 
hurden. It came nearer and nearer ; and Philip King, or what 
was left of him, was laid on the large table in the hall. As is 
the case in some country-houses, the hall was furnished like a 
plain room. Duff, making ready, had pushed the table close 
to the window, between the wall and the entrance-door, shutting 
me into a corner. I sank down on the matting, not daring to 
move. 

" Light the lamp," said Mr. Edwin Barley. 

The news had spread ; the servants crowded in ; some of the 
women began to shriek. It became one indescribable scene of 
confusion, exclamations, and alarm. Mr. Edwin Barley turned 
round, in anger 

" Clear out, all of you ! " he said, roughly. " What do you 
mean by making this uproar V You men can stay in the barn ; 
you may be wanted," he added, to the out-door labourers. 

They crowded out at the hall-door ; the servants disappeared 
tlirough the opposite one. Mr. Edwin Barley was one who 
brooked no delay in being obeyed. Miss Delves remained, 
and she drew near. 

" How did it happen ? " she asked, in a low voice, that did 
not sound much like hers. 

" Get me some brandy, and a teaspoon ! " was Mr. Edwin 
Barley's rejoinder. " He is certainly dead, as I believe ; but 
we must try restoratives, for all that. Make haste ; bring it in 
a wine-glass." 

She ran into the dining-room, and in the same moment Mrs. 
Edwin Barley came lightly down the stairs. She had on her 
dinner-dress, black silk trimmed with crape, no ornaments yet, 
and her lovely light hair was falling down over her bare neck. 
The noise, as it appeared, had disturbed her in the midst of 
dressing. 

" What is all this disturbance ? " she began, as she tripped 
across the hall; and it was the first intimation Mr. Edwin 
Barley had of her presence. He might have arrested her, had 
there been time ; but she was bending over the table too soon. 
Believing, as she said afterwards, that it was a load of game 



GOING OUT IN THE FOG. 33 

lyiug there, it must have been a great shock ; the grey-and- 
brown woollen plaid they had flung over him, from the neck 
downwards, looking not unlike the colour of partridge feathers 
in the dim light. There was no gas in the house ; oil was burnt 
in the hall and passages — wax-candles in the sitting-rooms. 

"It is Philip King!" she cried, with a sort of shriek, 
" What is the matter ? What is amiss with him ? " 

"Don't you see what it is'?" returned Mr. Edwin Barley, 
who was all this while chafing the poor cold hands. " He lias 
been shot in the chest ; marked out in the wood, and shot down 
like a dog." 

A cry of dread — of fear — broke from her She began to 
tremble violently. " How was it done, Edwin ? Who did it ? " 

" You." 

" / / " came from her ashy lips. " Are you going mad, 
Edwin Barley ? " 

" Selina, this is as surely the result of your work as though 
you had actually drawn tjie trigger, I hope you are satisfied 
with it ! " 

" How can you be so cruel?" she asked, her bosom heaving, 
her breath coming from her in gasps. 

He had spoken to her in a low, calm tone — not an angry one. 
It changed to sorrow now. 

" I thought harm would come of it ; I have thought so these 
two days ; not, however, such harm as this. You have been 
urging that fellow a little too much against this defenceless 
ward and relative of mine ; but I could not have supposed he 
would carry it on to murder. Philip King would have died 
quite soon enough without that, Selina; he was following 
Eeginald with galloping strides." 

Charlotte Delves returned with a teaspoon and the l)randy 
in a wine-glass. As is sure to be the case in an emergency, 
there had been an imavoidable delay. The spirit-stand was 
not in its place, and for a minute or two she had been xmable 
to find it. Mr, Edwin Barley took up a teaspoonful. His 
wife drew away. 

" Was it an accident, or — or — done deliberately ? " inquired 
Charlotte Delves, as she stood there, holding the glass. 

Anne Hereford. ' 3 



34 ANNE HEREFORD, 

" It was deliberate murder." 

" Duff' said so. But wlio did it ? " 

" It is of no use, Cliarlotto," was all the reply Mr. Barley 
made, as lie gave her baek tlie tea-spoon. " He is q^uite dead." 

Hasty footsteps were heard coming along the avenue, and up 
the steps to the door. They proved to he those of Mr. Lowe, ' 
the surgeon, from Hallam. 

"I was walking over to Smith's to dinner, Mr. Edwin Barley, 
and met one of your labourers coming for me," he exclaimed 
in a loud tone, as he entered. " He said some accident had 
happened to young King." 

" Accident enough," said Mr. Edwin Barley. " Here he lies." 

For a few moments nothing more was said. Mr. Lowe was 
stoojiing over the table. 

" I was trying to give him some brandy when you came in." 

" He'll never take brandy or anything else again," was the 
reply of Mr. Lowe. " He is dead." 

" As I feared. Was as sure of it, in fact, as a non-profes- 
sional man can well be. I believe that he died in the wood, a 
minute after the shot struck him." 

" How did it haj)pen '? " asked the surgeon. " These young 
fellows are so careless ! " 

" I'll tell you all I know," said Mr. Barley. " We had been 
out shooting — he, I, and Heneage, with the two keepers. He 
and Heneage w^ere not upon good terms ; they w^ere sour with 
each other as could be ; had been cross and crabbed all day. 
Coming home, Heneage dropped us ; whether to go forward, or 
to lag behind, I am unable to say. After that, we met Smith — - 
as he can tell you, if you are going to his house. He stopj)cd 
me aboiit that right-of-common business, and began discussing 
what would be our better mode of proceeding against the 
fellows. Philip King, whom it did not interest, said he should 
go on, and Smith and I sat down on the bench outside the 
beershop, and called for a })int of cider. Half-an-hour we may 
have sat there, and then 1 started for homo through the wood, 
which cuts off" the corner " 

"Philip King having gone forward, did you say?" inter- 
rupted tho surgeon. 



GOING OUT IN THE FOG. 35 

" Yes. I was nearly through the wood, whcu I heard a 
slight movement near me, and then a gun was fired. A terrible 
scream — the scream of a man, Lowe — succeeded in an ojiposite 
direction. I pushed through the trees, and saw Philip Kiug. 
He had leaped up with the shot, and was then falling to the 
ground. I went to his succour, and asked who had done it. 
' George Heneage,' was his answer. He had seen him raise his 
gun, take aim, and fire upon him," 

Crouching down there on the matting, trembling though I 
was, an impulse prompted me to interrupt : to say that Mr. 
Edwin Barley's words went beyond the truth. All that Pliilip 
King had said was, that he saw Geoi'ge Heneage, saw him stand 
there. But fear was more powerful than impulse, and I re- 
mained silent. How could I dare contradict Mr. Edwin 
Barley ? 

" It must have been an accident," said Mr. Lowe, " Heneage 
must have aimed at a bird." 

" There's no doubt that it was deliberate murder ! " replied 
Mr. Edwin Barley. " My ward affirmed it to me with his 
dying lips. They were his own words. I expressed a doubt, 
as you are doing. ' It was Heneage,' he said ; ' I tell it you 
with my dying lips.' A bad man ! — a villain ! " Mr. Barley 
emphatically added. " Another day or two, and I should have 
kicked him out of my house ; I waited but a decent pretext." 

"If he is that, why did you have him in it?" asked the 
surgeon. 

" Because it is only recently that my eyes have been opened 
to him and his ways. This poor fellow," pointing to the dead, 
" lifted their scales for me in the first instance. Pity the other 
is not the one to be lying here ! " 

Sounds of hysterical emotion were heard on the stairs : they 
came from Mrs. Edwin Barley. It appeared that she had been 
sitting on the lowest step all this time, her face bent on her 
knees, and must have heard what passed. Mr. Barley, as if 
wishing to offer an apology for her, said she had just looked on 
Philip King's face, and it had frightened her much. 

Mr. Lowe tried to persuade her to retire from the scene ; but 
she would not, and there she sat on, growing calm by degrees. 



3G ANNE HEREFORD. 

The surgeon measured sometliing with a teaspoon into a wine- 
glass, filled it up with cold water, and made her drink it. He 
then took his leave, saying that he would call again in the 
course of the evening. Not a minute had he been gone, when 
Mr. Martin burst into the hall. 

" What is this report ? " he cried, in agitation. " People are 
saying that Philip King is killed." 

" They might have said murdered," said Mr. Edwin Barley. 
" Heneage shot him in the wood." 

" Heneage ! " 

" Heneage. Took aim, and fired at him, and killed him. 
There never was a case of more deliberate murder." 

That Mr. Edwin Barley was actuated by intense animus as 
he said this, the tone proved. 

" Poor fellow ! " said the clergyman, gently, as he leaned over 
him and touched his face. " I have seen for some days they 
were not cordial with each other. What ill-blood could have 
been between them ? " 

" Heneage had better explain that when he makes his defence," 
said Mr. Edwin Barley, grimly. 

" It is only a night or two ago that we were speculating on 
his health, upon his taking a profession ; we might have spared 
ourselves the pains, poor lad. I asked you, who was his heir- 
at-law, little thinking another would so soon inherit." 

Mr. Edwin Barley made no reply. 

" Why — good heavens ! — is that Mrs. Barley sitting there ? " 
he inquired in a low tone, as his eyes fell on the distant stairs. 

" She won't move away. These things do terrify women. 
Don't notice her, Martin : she will be better left to herself." 

" Upon my word, this is a startling and sudden blow," 
resumed the clergyman, again recurring to the death. "But 
you must surely be mistaken in calling it murder." 

" There's no mistake about it : it was wilful murder. I am 
as sure of it as though I had seen the aim taken," persisted 
Mr. Barley. " And I will pursue Heneage to the death." 

" Have you secured him ? If it really is murder, he must 
answer for it. Where is he ? " 

Mr. Barley spoke a passionate word. It was a jjositive fact 



GOING OUT IN THE FOG. 37 

■ — accouut fur it, any one who can — that iintil that moment ho 
had never given a thought to the securing of George lleneagc. 
" What a fool I have been ! " he exchaimecl, " what an idiot ! 
He has had time to escape." 

" He cannot have escaped far." 

" Stay here, will you, Martin. I'll send the labourers after 
liim ; he may be hiding iu the wood until the night grows 
darker." 

Mr. Edwin Barley hastened from the hall, and the clergyman 
bent over the table again. I had my» fixce turned to him, and 
Avas scarcely conscious, until it had passed, of something dark 
that glided from the back of the hall, and followed Mr. Barley 
out. With him gone, to whom I had taken so unaccountable 
a dislike and dread, it was my favourable moment for escape ; 
I seemed to fear him more than poor Philip King on the table. 
But nervous terror held possession of me still, and in moving 
I cried out in spite of myself. The clergyman looked roimd. 

" I declare it is little Miss Hereford ! " he said, very kindly, 
as lie took my hand. " What brought you there, my dear ? " 

I sobbed out the explanation. That I had been pushed into 
the corner by the table, and was afraid to move. " Don't tell, 
sir, please! Mr. Edwin Barley might be angry with me. 
Don't tell him I was there." 

" He would not be angry at 'a little girl's very natural fears," 
answered Mr. Martin, stroking my hair. " But I will not tell 
him. Will you stay by your aunt, Mrs. Edwin Barley ? " 

" Yes, please, sir." 

"But where is Mrs. Barley?" he resumed, as he led me 
towards the stairs. 

" I was wondering, too," interposed Charlotte Delves, who 
stood at the dining-room door. " A minute ago she was still 
sitting there. I turned into the room for a moment, and when 
I came back she was gone." 

" She must have gone upstairs, Miss Delves." 

" I suppose she has, Mr. Martin," was Miss Delves's reply. 
But a thought came over me that it must have been Mrs. Edwin 
Barley who had glided out at the hall-door. 

And, in point of fact, it was. She was sought for upstairs, 



38 ANNE HEREFORD. 

and could not be found ; she was sought for downstairs, all in 
vain. Whither had she gone ? On what errand was she bent ? 
One of those raw, damp fogs, i)revalent in the autumn months, 
had come on, making the air wet as if with rain, and she had 
no out-door things on, no bonnet, and her black silk dress had 
a low body and short sleeves. Was she with her husband, 
searching the wood for George Heneage ? 

The dark oak-door that shut out the passage leading to the 
domains of the servants was pushed open, and Jemima's head 
appeared at it. I ran and laid hold of her. 
" Oh, Jemima, let me stay by you ! " 

" Hark ! " she whispered, putting her arm round me. " There 
are horses galloping up to the house." 

Two police-officers, mounted. They gave their horses in 
charge to one of the men-servants, and came into the hall, the 
scabbards of their swords clanking against the steps. 

" I don't like the look of them," whispered Jemima. " Let 
ITS go away." 

She took me to the kitchen. Sarah, Mary, and the cook were 
in it ; the latter a tall, stout woman, with a rosy colour and 
black eyes. Her chief concern seemed to be about the dinner. 
"Look here," she exclaimed to Jemima, as she stood over 
her saucepans, " everything's a-spiling. Who's to know whether 
they'll have it served in one hour or in two ? " 

" I should think they wouldn't have it served at all," returned 
Jemima : " that sight in the hall's enough dinner for them to- 
day, one would suppose. The police are come now." 

" Ah, it is bad, I know," said the cook. " And the going to 
look at it took everything else out of my head, worse luck to 
me ! I forgot my soles were on the fire, and when I got back 
they were burnt to the pan. I've had to scrape 'em now, and 
put 'em into wine sauce. Who's this coming in ? " 

It was Miss Delves. The cook appealed to her about the 
dinner. 

" It won't be eatable, ma'am, if it's kept much longer. Some 
of the dishes is half cold, and some's dried up to a scratcliin'." 
" There's no help for it, cook ; you must manage it in the 
best way you can," was Miss Delves's reply. " It is a dreadful 



GOING OUT IN THE FOG. 39 

thing to liave liappenccl, but I Kapi)ose cliuucr must be Bcrvcd 
all the same for the master and Mrs. Edwin Barley." 

" Miss Delves, is it true what they are saying — that it was 
Mr. Heneage who did it ? " inquired Sarah. 

" Suppose you trouble yourself with your own affairs, and let 
alone what does not concern you," was Miss Delves's rejn-imand. 

She left tlie kitchen. Jemima made a motion of contempt 
after her, and gave the door a bang. 

" She'll put in her word against Mr. Heneage, I know ; for 
she didn't like him. But I am confident it was never he that 
did it — unless his gun went oif accidental." 

For full an hour by the clock we stayed in the kitchen, 
uninterrupted, the cook reducing herself to a state of despair 
over tlie delayed dinner. The men-servants had been sent out, 
some to one place, some to another. The cook served us some 
coffee and bread-and-butter, but I don't think any one of us 
touched the latter, I thought by that time my aunt must 
surely have come in, and asked Jemima to take me iijistairs to 
her. A policeman was in the hall as we passed across the back 
of it, and Charlotte Delves and Mr. Martin were sitting in the 
dining-room, the door open, Mrs. Edwin Barley was nowhere 
to be found, and we went back to the kitchen. I began to cry ; 
a dreadful fear came upon me that she might have gone away 
for ever, and left me to the companionship of Mr. Edwin Barley. 

" Come and sit down here, child," said the cooky in a motherly 
way, as she placed a low stool near the fire. " It's enough to 
frighten her, poor little stranger, to have this happen, just as 
slie comes into the house." 

" I say, though, where can the mistress be ? " Jemima said to 
her, in a low tone, as I drew the stool into the shade and sat 
down, leaning my head against the wall. 

Presently Miss Delves's bell rang. The servants said they 
always knew her ring — it came with a jerk, Jemima went to 
answer it. It was for some hot water, which she took uj). 
Some one was going to have brandy-and-watcr, she said ; per- 
haj^s Mr. Martin — she did not know. Her master was in the 
hall then, and Mr, Barley, of the Oaks, was with him, 

" Who's Mr, Barley of the Oaks, Jemima ? " I asked. 



40 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" He is toaster's elder brother, miss. He lives at the Oaks, 
about three miles from here. Such a nice place it is — ten 
times better than this. When the old gentleman died, Mr. 
Barley came into the Oaks, and Mr. Edwin into this." 

Then there was silence again for another half-hour. I sat 
with my eyes closed, and heard them say I was asleep. The 
young farm labourer, Dull', came in at last. 

" Well," said he, " it have been a useless chase. I wonder 
whether I am wanted for anything else." 

" Where have you been ? " asked Jemima. 

" Scouring the wood, seven of us, in search of Mr. Heneage : 
and them two mounted police is a-dashing about the roads. 
We haven't found him." 

" Duff, Mr Heneage no more did it than you did." 

" That's all you know about it," was Duff's answer. " Master 
says he did." 

" Have a cup of coffee, Duff? " asked the cook. 

" Thank ye," said Duff'. " I'd be glad on't." 

She was placing the cup before him, when he suddenly 
leaned forward from the chair he had taken, speaking in a 
covert whisjDcr. 

" I say, who do you think was in the wood, a-scouring it, up 
one path and down another, as much as ever we was ? " 

" Who ? " asked the servants in a breath. 

" The young missis. She hadn't an earthly thing on her but 
just what she sits in, indoors. Her hair was down^ and her 
neck and arms was bare ; and there she was, a-racing up and 
down like one demented." 

" Tush ! " said the cook. " You must have seen double. 
What should bring young madam dancing about the wood, 
Duff, at this time o' night '? " 

" I tell ye I see her. I see her three times over. Maybe 
she was looking for Mr. Heneage, too. At any rate, there she 
was, and with nothing on, as if she'd started out in a hurry, 
and had forgot to dress herself. And if she don't catch a cold, 
it's odd to me," added Duff. " The fog's as tliick as pea-souji, 
and wets you worse than rain. 'Twas enough to give her her 
death." 



GOING OUT IN THE FOG. 41 

Duff's report was true. As ho spoke, a bell called Jemima 
up again. She came hack, laid hold of me without speaking, 
and took me to the drawing-room. Mrs. Edwin Barley stood 
there, just come in ; slie was shaking like a leaf, with tlie damp 
and cold, her hair dripping wet. When slie had seen her 
husband leave the hall in search of George Heneage, an impulse 
came over her to follow and interpose between the anger of tlio 
two, should they meet. At least, partly tliis, partly to look 
after George Heneage herself, and warn him to escape. Hlie 
gave me this exjjlanation openly. 

" I could not find him," she said, kneeling down before tlie 
lire, and holding out her shivering arms to the blaze. "I 
liope and trust he has escaped. One man's life is enough for 
me to have upon my hands, without having two." 

" Oh, Aunt Selina ! ijoii did not take Philip King's life ! " 

" No, I did not take it. And I have been guilty of no inten- 
tional wrong. But I did set the one against the other, Anne — 
in my vanity and wilfulness." 

Looking back to the child's eyes with which I saw things 
then, and judging of these same things with my woman's ex- 
perience now, I can but hold Selina Barley entirely to blame. 
An indulged daughter, born when her sister Ursula was nearly 
grown up, she had been suffered to have her own way at Keppe- 
Carew, and grew up to think the world was made for her. 
Dangerously attractive, fond to excess of admiration, she had 
probably encouraged Philip King's boyish fancy, and then 
turned round upon him for it. At the previous Easter, on his 
former visit, she had been all smiles and sweetness ; this time 
she had done nothing but turn him into ridicule. " What is 
sport to you may be death to me," said the fly to the spider. It 
might not have mattered so much from her, this ridicule ; but 
she pressed George Heneage into the service : and Philip King 
was not of a disposition to bear it tamely. His weak health 
made him appear somewhat of a coward ; he was not strong 
enough to take the law into his own hands, and repay Mr. 
Heneage with personal chastisement. Selina's liking for George 
Heneage was no doubt great ; but»it was not an improper liking, 
although the world — the little world at Mr. Edwin Barley's — 



42 ANNE HEREFORD. 

miglit have wisliecl to deem it so. Before slie married Mr. 
Edwin Barley, she refused George Heneagc, and laughed at 
him for proposing to her. She should wed a rich man, she told 
him, or none at all. It was Mr. Edwin Barley himself who 
invited Heneage to his house, and also Philip King, as it most 
nnfortuuatoly happened. His wife, in her wilful folly — I had 
almost written her wilful wickedness — played them off one 
npou another. The first day they met, Philip King took 
umbrage at some remark of Mr. Hcneage's, and Selina, liking 
the one and disliking the other, forthwith began. A few days 
further on, and young King so far forgot his good manners as 
to tell her she " liked that Coxcomb Heneage too much." The 
reproach made her laugh ; but she, nevertheless, out of pure 
mischief, did what she could to confirm Philip King in the 
impression. He, Philip King, took to talking of this to Miss 
Delves ; he took to watching Selina and George Heneage ; 
there could be little doubt that he carried tales of his observa- 
tion to Mr. Edwin Barley, which only incited Selina to perse- 
vere ; the whole thing amused her immensely. What passed 
between Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Barley in private about it, v^hether 
anything or nothing, was never known. At the moment of 
the accident he was exceedingly vexed with her ; incensed may 
bo the proper word. 

And poor Philip King ! Perhaps, after all, his death may 
have been a mistake — if it was in truth George Heneage that 
it proceeded from. Circumstances, as they came out, seemed 
to say that he had not been "spying," but only taking the 
short cut through the summer-house on his way home from 
shooting ; an unusual route, it's true, but not an imj)ossible 
one. Seeing them on the other side when he entered it, he 
waited until they should proceed onwards ; but Mrs. Barley's 
sudden rim up the steps sent him away. Not that he would 
avoid them ; only make his escape, without their seeing him, 
lest he should be accused of the very thing they did accuse 
him of — spying. But he was too late ; the creaking of the 
outer door betrayed him. At least this was the opinion taken 
up by Mr. Martin, later, when Selina told the whole truth to 
him, imder the seal of secrecy. 



ILLNESS. 43 

But Mrs. Edwin Barley was kneeling before the fire in the 

drawing-room, with her dripping hair ; and I standing hy licr 
looking on ; and that first terrible night was not over. 

" Sclina, why did you stay out in the wet fog ? " 

" I was looking for him, I tell you, Anne." 

■' But you had nothing on. You might have caught your 
death, Duff said." 

" And what if I had ? " she sharply interrupted. " I would 
as soon die as live." 

It was one of her customary random retorts, meaning nothing. 
Before more was said, strange footsteps and voices were heard 
on the stairs. Selina started up, and looked at herself in the 
glass. 

" I can't let them see me like this," she muttered, clutching 
her drooping hair. " You wait here, Anne." 

Darting to the side-door she had sjioken of as leading to her 
bedroom, she pulled it open with a wrench, as if a bolt had 
given way, and disappeared, leaving me standing on the hearth- 



CHAPTER IV. 

ILLNESS. 

He who first entered the room was a gentleman of middle age 
and size. His complexion was healthy and ruddy ; his short 
dark hair, sprinkled with grey, was combed down upon the 
forehead : his countenance was good-natured and simple. This 
was Mr. Barley of the Oaks. Not the least resemblance did he 
bear to his brother. Following him was one in an ofticial 
dress, who was probably superior to a common policeman, for 
his manners were good, and Mr. Barley called him " Sir." It 
was not the same who had been in the hall. 

" Oh, this— this must be the little girl," observed Mr. Barley. 
" Are you Mrs. Edwin's niece, my dear — Miss Hereford ? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" Do you know where she is ? " 



U ANNE HEREFORD. 

" In her bedroom, I think, sir." 

It had transj)ired that a quarrel had taken i)hico the previous 
Friday between Mr. Hcneage and Philip King ; and the officer 
had now been in the kitchen to question Jemima. Jemima 
disclaimed all knowledge of the affair, beyond the fact that she 
had heard of it from little Miss Hereford, whom she saw on the 
stairs, crying and frightened. He had now come to question me. 

"Now, my little maid, try and recollect," said the officer, 
drawing me to him. " What did they quarrel about ? " 

" I don't know, sir," I answered. And I spoke the literal 
truth, for I had not understood at the time. 

" Can you not recollect ? " 

" I can recollect," I said, looking at him, and feeling that I 
did not shrink from him, though he was a policeman. " Mr. 
King seemed to have done something wrong, for Mr. Hcneage 
w^as angry with him, and called him a spy ; but I did not know 
what it was that he had done. I was too frightened to listen ; 
I ran out of the room." 

" Then you did not hear what the quarrel was about ? " 

" I did not understand, sir. Except that they said that Mr. 
King was mean, and a spy." 

" They ! " he repeated, catching me up quickly ; " who else 
was in the room ? " 

" My Aimt Selina." 

" Then she took Mr. Heneage's part ? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" How did the quarrel end ? Amicably, or in ill-feeling ? " 

" I don't know, sir. I went away, and stayed in my bed- 
room." 

"My sister-in-law, Mrs. Edwin, may be able to tell you 
more about it, as she was present," interposed Mr. Barley. 

" I dare say she can," was the officer's reply. " It seems a 
curious thing altogether — that two gentlemen should be visit- 
ing at a house, and one should shoot the other. How long had 
they been staying here ? " 

"Let's see," said Mr. Barley, rtibbing his forefinger upon 
his forehead. "It must be a month, I fancy, sir, since they 
came. Hcneage was here first : some days before Philip." 



ILLNESS. 45 

" Were they previously acquainted ? " 

" I — tliink — not," said Mr. Barley, si)eaking with hesitation. 
"ITeneage was here on a short visit in the middle of the 
summer, but not Philip : whereas Philiji was here at Easter, 
and the other was not. No, sir, I believe they were not 
acquainted before, but my brother can tell you." 

" Who is this Mr. Heneage ? " 

" Don't you know ? He is the son of the member for Wex- 
borough. Oh, he is of very good family — very. A sad blow 
it will bo for them, if things turn out as black as they look. 
Will he get clear off, think you ? " 

" You may depend upon it, he would not have got oif far, 
but for this confounded fog that has come on," warmly rei:)lied 
the police-officer. " We shall have him to-morrow, no doubt." 

" I hardly ever saw such a fog at this time of year," observed 
Mr. Barley. " I couldn't see a yard before me as I came along. 
Upon my word, it almost seems as if it had come on purpose to 
screen him." 

" Was he a pleasant man, this Heneage ? " 

" One of the nicest fellows you ever met, sir," was Mr. 
Barley's impulsive reply. " The last week or two Edwin 
seems to have taken some spite against him ; I don't know 
what was up between them, for my part : but I liked Heneage, 
what I saw of him, and thought him an uncommon good fellow. 
Mrs. Edwin Barley has known him a long time ; my brother 
only recently. They all met in London last spring." 

"Heneage derives no benefit in any way, by property or 
otherwise, from his death ? " observed the policeman, speaking 
half as a question, half as a soliloquy. 

"It's not likely, sir. The only person to benefit is my 
brother. He comes in for it all." 

The oificer raised his eyes. "Your brother comes in for 
young King's fortune, Mr. Barley '? " 

" Yes, he does. And I'll be bound he never gave a thought 
to inheriting it. How should he, from a young and hearty lad 
like Philip ? Edwin has croaked about Philip's health of late, 
said he was consumptive, and going the way of his brother 
Reginald ; but I saw nothing amiss with Philip," 



40 ANNE HEREFORD. 

"May I ask why yoii don't inherit, Mr. Barley, being the 
elder brother ? " 

" He was no blood relation to me. My father married twice, 
I was the son of the first wife ; Edwin of the second ; and 
Philip King's father and Edwin's mother were cousins. Philip 
had no male relative living except my brother, therefore he 
comes in for the estate." 

Mrs. Edwin Barley appeared at the door, and paused here, 
as if listening to the conclusion of the last sentence. Mr. 
Barley turned and saw her, and she came forward. She had 
twisted up her damp hair, and thrown on a shawl of white 
China crape. Her eyes were brilliant, her cheeks carmine — 
beautiful she looked altogether. 

The officer questioned her as to the cause of the quarrel 
which she had been present at, but she would give him no satis- 
factory answer. She " could not remember ; " " Philip King 
Avas in the wrong, she knew that ; " " tlie officer must excuse her 
talking, for her head ached, and her brain felt confused." Such 
was the substance— all, in fact, that he could get from her. He 
bowed and withdrew, and Mr. Barley followed him downstairs, 
Selina bolting the door after them. 

" Now, Anne, I must have a little conversation with you," 
she said, drawing me to her as she sat on the low ottoman. 
And I could see that she shivered still. She proceeded to 
question me of what had occurred after I left her at the summer- 
house. I told her ; and had got to where Philii) King was shot, 
when she interrupted. 

" Good Heavens, child ! you saw him shot '? " 

" 1 heard the noise, and saw him fall. It seemed to come 
from the spot where he had been gazing." 

" Did you see who did it ? " she asked, scarcely above her 
breath. 

" No." 

" Then you saw no one about except Philip King ? " 

" I saw Ml'. Edwin Barley. He was near the spot from whence 
the shot seemed to come, looking through the trees and standing 
still, as if he wondered what could be amiss. For, oh, Selina ! 
Philip King's scream was dreadful, and must have been heard 
a long way." 



ILLNESS. 17 

My auut caught hold of my arm in a sort of fright. " Aunc ! 
what do you say? You saw Edwin Barley at that spot! Not 
Mr. Hcueage ? " 

" I did not see Mr. Hcueage at all tlien. I saw only Mr. 
Edwin Barley. lie came up to Philip King, asking what Avas 
the matter." 

" Had he his gun ■u-ith him — Edwin Barley ? " 

" Yes, he was carrying it." 

She dropped my arm, and sat quite still, shrinking as if some 
blow had struck her. Two or three minutes passed before she 
spoke again. 

"Goon, Anne. What next? Tell me all that passed, for 
I suppose you heard." And I related what I knew, word for 
Avord. 

" You have not told me all, Anne." 

" Yes, I have." 

" Did not Philip King say that Mr. Heneage had raised his 
gun, aimed at him, and fired ? that he saw him do it ? " 

" He did not, aunt. He only said what I have told you." 

" Lie the first ! " she exclaimed, lifting her hand and letting 
it fall passionately. " Then you never saw Mr. Heneage ? " 

" I saw him later." And I went on to tell her of meeting 
him through my taking the wrong turning. I told her all : 
how he looked as one in mortal fright ; what he said ; and of 
my asking him whether he had done it. 

" Well •? " she feverishly interrupted. " Well ? " 

" He quite denied it," I answered, repeating to her exactly 
the words Mr. Heneage had said. 

" You say he looked scared — confused ? 

" Yes, very much so." 

" And Mr. Edwin Barley— did he ? " 

" Not at all. He looked just as he always looks. He seemed 
to be surprised, and very sorry ; his voice, when he spoke to 
Philip King, was kinder than I ever heard it." 

Another pause. She seemed to be thinking. 

" I can hardly understand Avhere it Avas you saAV George 
Heneage, Anne : you must show me to-morrow. Was it on the 
same side from v>hich the shot came ? " 



48 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Yos ; I think near to the place. Or liow could lie have 
heard Mr. Barley speak to me ? " 

" How long had you been in the wood when the shot was fired?" 

" About ten minutes or a quarter-of-an-hour." 

" Little girls compute time differently from grown-up people, 
Anne. A few minutes might seem like a quarter-of-an-hour 
to you." 

" Mamma taught me how differently time appears to pass, 
according to what we may be doing. Aunt Selina. That when 
we are pleasantly occupied, it seems to fly ; and when we are 
impatient for it to go on, or in any suspense or fear, it does not 
seem to move. I think I have learnt to be ju'ctty exact, and I 
do believe that 1 was in the wood nearly a quarter-of-an-hour. 
1 was running about for some time, looking for Mr. Heneage, 
as you told me, before I found 1 had lost myself. And then 
I was some minutes getting over the fright. I had said my 
prayers, and " 

" You had— WHAT ? " 

" I was much alarmed ; I thought I might have to stay in 
the wood until morning, and I could only praj to God to 
protect me : I knew that harm would not come to me then. It 
must have been a quarter-of-an-hour in all : so you see Mr. 
Heneage did not do it in the heat of passion, in running after 
him : he must have done it deliberately." 

" I don't care," she repeated to herself, in a sort of defiant 
voice ; " 1 know George Heneage did not mlfully shoot Philip 
King. If he did do it, it was an accident ; but 1 don't believe 
he did." 

" If he did not, why did he hide in the wood, and look as if 
he had done something wrong, Selina? Why did he not go 
boldly up, and see what was amiss with Philip King, as 
Mr. Edwin Barley did ? " 

" There is no accounting for v/hat jieople do in these moments 
of confusion and terror : some act in one way, some in another," 
she said, slowly. " Anne, I don't like to sjieak out ojicnly to 
you — what I fear and what I don't fear. It was imperative 
upon George Heneage to hasten home — and he may not hare 
believed that Pliilip King was really dead." 



ILLNESS. 49 

" But, Seliua — - " 

" Go ! go ! lie clown there," she said, drawing lac to tlio 
distant sofo, and pusliiug me on it, with the jjillow over luy 
head. " You are asleei), mind ! He might tliink I had been 
tutoring you." 

So sudden and imexpected was the movement, I could only 
obey, and lie still. Selina unbolted the door, and was back in 
her seat before Mr. Edwin Barley entered the room. 

"• Are you coming down to dinner, Seliua '? " 

" Dinner! It is Avell for you that you can eat any," was her 
answer. " You must dine without me to-day — those who dine 
at all. Now, don't disturb that sleei)ing child, Mr. Barley ! I 
was jiist going to send her to bed.' 

" It might do you more good to eat dinner than to roam 
about in a night-fog," was Mr. Edwin Barley's rejoinder. " It 
is rather curious you should choose such a night as this to be 
out in, half-naked." 

" Not curious," she said, coldly : " very natural." 

" Very ! Especially that you should be tearing up and down 
tlie wood i^aths, like a mad woman. Others saw you as well as 
myself, and are speaking of it." 

" Let them speak." 

" But for what purpose w'ere you there ? '" 

" I was looking for George Heneage. There ! you may make 
the most of it." 

" Did you find him ? " 

" No. I wish I had : I icish I had. I should have learnt 
from him the truth of this night's business ; for the truth, as I 
believe, has not come to light yet." 

" What do you suppose to be the truth ? " he returned, in a 
tone of surprise ; whether natural, or assumed, who could say ? 

" No matter — no matter now : it is something that I scarcely 
<lare to glance at. Better, even, that Heneage had done it, 
than— than — what I am thinking of. My head is confused 
to-night," she broke off ; " my mind unhinged — hardly sane. 
You had better leave me, Mr. Barley." 

" You had better come and eat a bit of dinner," he said 
roughly, but not unkindly. " None of us can touch much, I 

Anne Hereford. 4 



50 AKNE SEREFORD. 

dare say, but we are going to sit clown. William is staying, 
and so is Martin. Won't you come and try to take a bit ? Or 
shall I send you sometbing up ? " 

" It would be of no use." 

Mr, Edwin Barley looked at ber: sbe was sbivering out- 
wardly and inwardly. 1 could just see out under tbe corner of 
tbe cushion. 

"You have caught a violent cold, Selina. How could you 
think of going out ? " 

" I Avill tell you," she added, in a more conciliating spirit. 
" I went out because you went. To prevent any encounter 
between you and George Heneage, — I mean any violence. 
After that, I stayed looking for him." 

" You need not have feared violence from me. I should have 
handed him over to the police, nothing more." 

There was a mocking sound in his voice as ho spoke. Selina 
sat do^x^l and put ber feet on tbe fender. 

" I iiate to dine without some one at the head of the table," 
Mr. Edwin Barley said, turning to the door. " If you will not 
come, I shall ask Charlotte Delves to sit down." 

" It is nothing to me who sits down when I am not there." 

He departed with the ungracious reply ringing in his ears : 
and ungracious I felt it to be. She bolted the door again, and 
pulled the blue velvet cushion off my head. 

" Are you. smothered, child ? Get up. Now, mark me : you 
must not say a word to Mr, Edwin Barley of what happened at 
the summer-house. Do not mention it at all — to him, or to 
any one else." 

" But suppose I am asked, Selina ? " 

" How can you be asked ? Philip King is gone, poor fellow ; 
George Heneage is not here, and who else is there to ask you ? 
You surely have not spoken of it already ? " she continued, in 
a tone of alarm. 

I had not spoken of it to any one, and told her so. Jemima 
had questioned me as to the cause of my terror, when I ran in 
from the wood, and I said I had heard a shot and a scream ; I 
had not courage to say more. 

« That's well," said Selina. 



ILLNESS. 51 

She seut luc to rest, ordei-iug Jemima to stay by me until 
I was asleej). " The child may feel nervous," she remarked to 
her, in an undertone, but the words reached me. And I sujipose 
Jemima felt nervous, for one of the other maids came also. 

The night jmssed ; morning came ; Sunday ; and with it illness 
for Mrs, Edwin Barley. I gathered from Jemima's conversa- 
tion, while she was dressing me, that Selina had slept alone : 
Mr. Edwin Barlcj^, with his brother and some more gentle- 
men, had been out a great part of the night looking for 
George Heneage. It was so near morning Avhen they returned, 
that he would not go to his wife's room for fear of disturbing 
her. 

I ran in when I went downstairs. She lay in bed, and her 
voice, as she si^oke to me, did not sound like her own. " Are 
you ill, Selina ? Why do you speak so hoarsely ? " 

" I feel very ill, Anne. My throat is bad — or my chest, I 
can scarcely toll which : perhaps it is both. Go downstairs, 
and send Miss Delves to me." 

I have said that I was an imaginative, thoughtful, excitable 
child, and as I hastened to obey her, one sole recollection (I 
could have said fear) kept running through my brain. It was 
the oracular observation made by Duff, relating to his mistress 
and the fog : " It's enough to give her her death ! " Sui)pose 
she had caught her death ? My fingers, fastening my narrow 
waistband, trembled at the thought. 

Tlie first thing I saw when I went down was a large high 
screen of many folds, raised across the hall, shutting out part 
of it from view. It seemed to strike me back with fear. Sarah 
was coming out of the dining-room with a duster in her hand : 
it was early yet. I caught hold of her gown. 

" Sarah, what is behind there '? " 

" The same that was last night, miss," she answered. 
" Nothing is to be moved until the coroner has come." 

" Have they taken Mr. Heneage ? " 

" Not that I have heard of, miss. One of the police wag iu 
just now, and he told Miss Delves there was no news." 

" I want to find Miss Delves. Where is she ? " 

" In master's study. You can go in. Don't you know whioh 



52 ANNE HEREFORD. 

it is ? It's that room built out at the back, half-way up the 
first flight of stairs. You cau see the door from here." 

f u the study sat Mr. Barley and Mr. Edwin Barley at break- 
fast, Charlotte Delves serving them. I gave her my aunt's 
message, but was nearly scared out of my senses at being laid 
hold of by Mr. Edwin Barley. 

" Go up at once, Charlotte, and see what it is," he said. 
" How do you say, little one — that her throat is bad ? " 

" Yes, sir ; she cannot sjieak well." 

" No wonder ; she has only herself to thank," he muttered, 
as Charlotte Delves left the room. " The wonder would be if 
she were not ill." 

"Why?" asked Mr. Barley, curiously, lifting his head. 

" Oh, she got frightened last night when poor Philip w\as 
brought in, and ran out in the fog after me with nothing on." 

He released my arm, and Mr. Barley put a chair for me 
beside him, and gave me some breakfast. I had taken quite a 
liking to him, he was so simple and kind. He told me he had 
no little girls or boys of his own, and his wife was always ill, 
unable to go out. 

"Mrs. Edwin Barley appears exceedingly poorly," said 
Charlotte Delves, when she returned. " Lowe said he should 
be here this morning ; he shall see her when he comes. She 
must have taken cold." 

Scarcely had she spoken when the surgeon arrived. Mr. 
Edwin Barley went upstairs with him. Mr. Lowe came down 
alone afterwards, and I caught a moment to speak to him when 
no one was listening. 

" Will my Aunt Selina get well, sir ? " 

" I do not know, my dear," he answered, turning upon me 
his grave face. " 1 fear she is going to be very ill." 

Sunday came to an end ; oh, such a dull day it had seemed ! 
— and Monday morning dawned. It was Seliua's birthday: 
she was twenty-one. 

Nothing could be heard of George Heneage. The police 
scoured the country ; handbills were printed, offering a reward 
for his approlicnsion ; no effort was left untried, but he was not 
found. Opinions were freely bandied about : some said ho 



^ ILLNESS, 53 

must have escaped in the fog, ami got oflf by the railway from 
Nettleby, or by the other line beyond Ilallam ; others thought 
he was lying concealed near the spot still. Mr. Edwin Barley 
was in great anger at his escape, and vowed he would pursue 
him to the death. 

Not on this day, but the following, Tuesday, Mr. Ileneage's 
father came to the house — a fine old gentleman, with white 
hair. Mr. Lowe corrected me for calling him old, and said he 
could not be much more than fifty. I had not then the experi- 
ence to know that whilst young people call fifty old, those past 
that age are apt to style it young. I saw him twice as he went 
along the passages, but was not close to him. He was a 
courteous, gentlemanly man, but seemed bowed down with 
grief. It was said lie could not imderstand the calamity at all, 
Jind decidedly refused to believe in his son's guilt. If the shot 
had in truth proceeded from him, the gun must have gone off 
by accident. 

" Then why should he run away ? " argued Mr. Edwin Barley. 

He stayed in the house altogether but about two hours, and 
had an interview with Mrs. Edwin Barley in her bedroom 
before his departure. Refreshments were laid for him, but he 
declined to touch anything : I heard the servants commenting 
on it. 

In the afternoon the coroner's inquest sat. It was held in 
the dining-room. The chief witness was Mr. Edwin Barley. 
I was not called upon, and Selina said it was a proof that he 
had not mentioned I was present at the time. You may be 
sure I took care not to mention it ; neither did slic. Nothing 
transj)ired touching the encounter at the summer-house ; there- 
fore the affair appeared to the public involved in mystery. 
Mr, Edwin Barley protested that it was a mystery to him. He 
could not conceive what motive Heneage could have had in 
taking Philip King's life, Mr. Edwin Barley testified that 
Philip King, in dying, had asserted he saw George Heneage 
take aim and fire at him, and there was no one to contradict 
the assertion. I knew Philij) King had not said so much ; but 
no one else knew it, except Mrs. Edwin Barley, and she only 
from me. They did not require her to appear at the inquest; 



54 ANNE HEREFORD. 

it was assumed that slie knew uotliiug wliatevor about tlie 
transaction. 

Charlotte Delves was called, at the request of the jury, 
because Philip King had sat with her in her parh)ur for half- 
an-hour the morning of his death ; hut she proved that he had 
not touched upon anything un2)leasant, or spoken then of 
George Heneage. The feeling between them had not been 
good, she testified, and there used to be bickerings and disputes. 
" What about ? " asked the jury ; but Miss Delves only answered 
that she " could not say." The fact was, Mr. Edwin Barley in 
his stern way had ordered her not to bring in his wife's name. 
"Whilst the inquest was sitting I stayed in Selina's room. 
She seemed very restless, turning about in bed continually, 
and telling me to listen how it was " going on." But I could 
hoar nothing, though I went often on the stairs to try. 

" What was that stir just now, Anne '? " she asked, when it 
was late. 

" They called from the dining-room to have the chandelier 
lighted. John went in and did it." 
" Is it dark, Anne '? " 
" Not dark. It is getting dark." 

Dark it appeared to be in the chamber, for the crimson silk 
cixrtains were drawn before the large, deep bay-window, and 
also partially round the bed. You could distinguish the 
outline of objects, and that was all. I went close up to the 
bed and looked at her ; she was buried in the pillows : that 
she was very ill I knew, for a physician from Nettleby had 
come that morning with Mr. Lovv'-e. 

" I think it must be over," she said, as a bustle was heard 
below. " Go and see, dear " 

I went half-way down the stairs in the dark. No one had 
thought to light the hall-lamp Sure enough, they were pouring 
out of the room, a crowd of dark figures, talking as they came, 
and slowly making for the hall-door. Suddenly I distinguished 
Mr. Edwin Barley coming towards the stairs. 

To his study, as I thought, and back went I, not caring to 
(mcounter him. Added to my childish dislike and fear of 
Mr. Edwin Barhy, since Saturday niglit another impulse to 



ILLNESS. 55 

avoid liim had bccu added : a dread, whicli I could not divest 
myBclf of, tliat lie iniglit question nic as to tliat meeting at t1 o 
summer-liouse, and to tlic subsetpient interview with George 
Heneage. Selina had ordered me to be silent ; but if he foui.d 
anything out and questioned me, what could I do'? I know 
that the fear was upon me then and for a long time afterwards. 

I crept swiftly back again up the stairs, and into my aunt's 
room. Surely he was not coming to it ! Those were his 
footsteps, and they drew nearer : he could not have turned into 
his study ! No, they came on. In the impulse of the moment, 
I pushed behind the heavy window-curtain. It v.as drawn 
straight across from wall to wall, leaving a space between it 
and the bow of the window nearly as largo as a small room. 
There were three chairs there, one in the middle of the window 
and at the two sides. I sat down on one of them, and, pulling 
the white blind slightly aside, looked out at the dark figures 
who were then sauntering down the avenue. 

" Well, it's over," said Mr. Edwin Barley to his \vifc, as he 
came in and shut the door. " And now all the work will be to 
find him." 

" How has it ended ? " she asked. 

" Wilful murder. The coroner was about to clear the room, 
but the jury intimated that they required no deliberation, and 
returned their verdict at once." 

" Wilful murder against whom ? " 

" Against George Heneage. Did you suppose it was against 
you or me ? " 

There was a pause. I felt in miserable indecision, knowing 
that I ought, in honour, to go out and show myself, but not 
daring to do it. Selina resumed, speaking as emphatically as 
her inflamed throat permitted. 

"I cannot believe — I never will believe— that George 
Heneage was capable of committing murder. His whole nature 
would rise up against it : as his father said in this room a few 
hours ago. If the shot did come from his gun, it must have 
been fired inadvertently." 

" The shot did come from his gun," returned Mr. Edwiu 
Barley. " There's no ' if ' in the question." 



5r, ANNE HEREFORD. 

" I am aware yon say so ; but it was passing strange tliat 
you, also with your gun, should have been ujwn the spot. 
Now, stay! — don't put yourself in a jjassion. I cannot help 
saying it. I think all this suspense and uncertainty is killing 
nic ! " 

Mr. Edwin Barley dragged a chair to the side of the bed, 
anger in the very sound. I felt ready to drop, lest he should 
sec nie througli the slit in the curtain. 

" We will have this out, Selina. It is not the first time you 
have given utterance to hints that you ought to be ashamed of. 
Do you suspect that I shot Philip King ? '' 

His tone was so stern that, perhaps, she did not like to say 
" yes " outright, and tampered with the question. 

" Not exactly that. But there's only your word to prove 
that it was George Heneage. And you know how incensed 
you have latterly been against him." 

" Who caused me to be incensed ? Why, you." 

'' There was no real cause. Were it the last words I had to 
speak, Edwin "—and she burst into tears — "were I dying I 
would assert it. I never cared for George Heneage in the way 
you fancy." 

" I fancy ! Had I fancied that, I should have flung George 
Heneage out of my house long ago," was his rejoinder, spoken 
calmly. " But now hear me, Selina. It has been your pleasure 
to declare so much to me. On my part, I declare to you that 
Heneage, and Heneage only, killed Philip King. Dispossess 
your mind of all dark folly. You must be insane, I think, to 
take it up against your husband." 

" Did you see Heneage fire ? " she asked, after a silence. 

" No. I should have known pretty surely that it could only 
be Heneage, had there been no proof against him ; but there 
Avere Philip's dying words. Still, I did not see Heneage at the 
place, and I have never said I did. I was pusliing home 
through the wood, and halted a second, thinking I heard 
voices : it must have been Philip talking to the child : at that 
very moment a shot was fired close to me — close, mind you — 
not two yards off; but the trees are thick just there, and 
whoever fired it was hid from my view. I was turning to 



ILLNESS. 57 

search, when Philip King's awful scream rang out, and I pushcil 
my head beyond the trees and saw liim in the act of falling to 
the ground. I hastened to him, and the other escaped. This 
is the entire truth, so far as I am cognizant of it." 

It might have been the truth ; and, again, it might not. 
It was just one of those things that depend upon the credibility 
of the utterer. What little corroboration there was, certainly 
was on Mr. Edwin Barley's side : only that he had asserted 
more than was true of the dying words of I'hilip King. If 
these were the simi^le facts, the truth, why have added false- 
hood to them ? 

"Ileneage could have had no motive for taking the life of 
I'hilip King," argued Mrs. Edwin Barley. " That he Avould 
have caned him, or given him some other sound chastisement, 
I grant you— and richly he deserved it, for he was the cause of 
all the ill-feeling that had arisen in the house — but, to kill 
him ! No, no ! " 

" And yet you would deem me capable of it ! " 

" I am not accusing you. But when you come to speak of 
motives, I cannot help seeing that George Heneage could have 
had none." 

" You have just observed that the author of the mischief, the 
bad feeling which had sprung up in the house, was Philip 
King ; but you are wrong. The author was you, Selina." 

No answer. She put up one of her hot hands, and shaded 
her eyes. 

" I forgive you," he continued. " I am willing to bury the 
past in silence : never to recur to it — never henceforth to allude 
to it, though the boy was my relative and ward, and I liked 
liim. But I would recommend you to bear this tragical ending 
in mind, as a warning for the future. I will not tolerate 
further folly in my wife ; and your own sense ought to tell 
you that had I been ambitious of putting some one out of the 
world, it would have been Heneage, not Philip. Heneage has 
killed him, and upon his head be the consequences. I will 
never cease my endeavours to bring it home to him. I will 
spare no pains, or energy, or cost, until it is accomplished. 
So help me, Heaven ! " 



58 ANNE HEEEFOKD. 

He rose witli tlie last solemn word, and put the chair Lack 
in its place. On his way to the door he turned, speaking in a 
softer voice. 

"Are you better this evening, Selina?" 

" No. It seems to me that I grow worse with every hour." 

" I'll send Lowe up to you. He is somewhere about." 

" Oh, aunt, aunt ! " I said, going forward with lifted hands 
and streaming eyes, as he left the chamber, " I was here all the 
time ! I saw Mr. Edwin Barley coming in, and I hid behind 
the window-curtain. I never meant to be a listener : I was 
afraid to come out." 

She looked at me without sj)eaking, and her face, hot with 
fever, grew more flushed. She seemed to be considering; 
perhaps remembering what had passed. 

" I — I — don't think there was anything very particular said, 
that you need care ; or, rather, that I need," she said at length. 
« Was there '? " 

" No, Selina. Only " 

" Only what, child ? Why do you hesitate ? " 

" You think it might have been Mr. Edwin Barley. I wish 
I had not heard that." 

" I said, or implied, it was as likely to have been he as the 
other. Anne," she suddenly added, " you possess thoxight and 
sense beyond your years : what do you think ? " 

" I think it was Mr. Heneage. I think so because he has 
run away, and because he looked so strangely when he was 
hiding. And I do not think it was Mr. Edwin Barley. When 
he told you how it occurred just now, and that it was not he, 
his voice sounded as though he were speaking the truth." 

" Oh, dear ! " she moaned, " I hope it was so ! What a mercy 
if that Philip King had never come near the house ! " 

" But, Selina, you are sorry that he is dead ? " 

" Sorry that he is dead ? Of course I am sorry. What a 
curious child you are ! He was no favourite of mine ; but," 
she cried, passionately clasping her hands, " I would give all 
I am worth to call him back to life." 

But I could not be reconciled to what I had done, and sobbed 
on licavily, until lights and Mr. Lowe came in together. 



( ijy ) ,- 

CHAPTER V. 

ANOTHER DREAM. 

" If ever I lieard tlie like of that ! one won't be able to open 
one's lips next before you, Miss Hereford. Did I say anything 
about her dying, pray ? Or about your dying ? Or my dying ? 
Time enough to snaj) me up when I do." 

Thus spoke Jemima, with a volubility that nearly took her 
breath away. She had come to my room in the morning with 
the news that Mrs. Edwin Barley was worse. I burst into 
tears, and asked if she were going to die : which brought forth 
the above rebuke. 

" My thoughts were rimning upon whether we servants 
should have mourning given us for young Mr. King," resumed 
Jemima, as if she were bent upon removing unpleasant impres- 
sions from my mind. " Now just you make haste and dress 
yourself. Miss Hereford — Mrs. Edwin Barley has been asking 
for you." 

I made haste ; Jemima helped ; and she ushered me to the 
door of the sick-room, halting to whisper a parting word. 

" Don't you begin crying again, miss. Your aunt is no more 
going to die than I am." 

The first words spoken by Mrs. Edwin Barley were a con- 
tradiction to this, curious coincident though it may seem. She 
was lying very high on the frilled white pillows, no cap on, 
her cheeks hectic, and her lovely golden hair falling around 
her head. A large bright fire burned in the grate, and a small 
tray, with a white cloth and cup on it, stood on the table 
near. 

" Child," she began, holding out her hand to me, " I fear I 
am about to be taken from you." 

I did not answer ; I did not cry ; all tears seemed scared 
away then. It was a confirmation of my secret, inward fears, 
and my face turned white. 

" What was that you said to me about the Keppe-Carews 
never dying without a warning ? And I laughed at you ! Do 



60 ANNE HEREFORD. 

you rcmcuiber ? Anne, I think the warning came to mo last 
night." 

I ghinced timidly round the room. It was a luxurious bed- 
fhambcr, costly furniture and j^retty toilette trifles everywhere. 
The crimson silk curtains were drawn closely before the bay- 
window, and I could sec Selina clearly in the semi-light. 

" Your mamma told jon she had a dream, Anne. Well, I 
luxve had a dream. And yet I feel sure it was not a dream, but 
reality ; reality. She appeared to me last night." 

" Who ? Mamma ? " 

" Your mamma. The KeiJjie-Carew superstition is, that when 
one is going to die, the last relative, whether near or distant, 
who has been taken from them by death, comes again to give 
them notice that tlieir own departure is near. Ursula was the 
last who went, and she came to me in the night." 

" It can't be true," I sobbed, shivering from head to foot. 

" She stood there, in the faint rays of the shaded lamp," pur- 
sued Selina, not so much as listening to me. " I have not 
really slept all night ; I have been in that semi-conscious, dozing 
state when the mind is awake both to dreams and to reality, 
knowing not which is which. Just before the clock struck 
two, I awoke partially from one of these semi-di-eams, and I 
saw your mamma at the foot of the bed — a shadowy sort of 
figure and face, but I knew it for Ursula's. She just looked at 
me, and said ' Selina ! ' Then I woke uj) thoroughly — the 
name, the sound of her well-remembered voice ringing in my 
cars." 

" And seeing her ? " I eagerly asked. 

" No. Seeing nothing but the opening between the curtains 
at the foot of the bed, and the door beyond it ; nothing more 
than is to be seen now." 

" Then, Selina, it was a dream after all ? " 

" In one sense, yes. The world would call it so. To me it 
was something more, A minute afterwards the clock struck 
two, and I was as wide awake as I am now." 

The reaction came, and I burst into tears. " Selina ! it was 
a dream ; it could only have been a dream ! " 

«' I should no doubt think so, Anne, but for what you told 



ANOTHER DREAM. CI 

me of yoai" mamma's warning. But for hea^ring tliat, I might 
never liave remembered that such a thing is said to follow the 
Kepi)e-Carew's." 

What with remorse for having told her, though eharged by 
my mother to do it, and what with my own fears, I could not 
speak for hysterical sobbing. 

" You stupid little sensitive thing ! " exclaimed, Selina, with 
a touch of her old lightness ; " perhaps in a week's time I shall 
be well, and running about out of doors with you. Go down to 
Charlotte Delves's parlour, and get your breakfast, and then 
come to me again. I want you to go on an errand for me ; but 
don't say so. Mind that, Anne." 

" No, no ; I won't say it, Selina." 

" Tell them to give you some honey," 

They brought the honey and set out other good things for 
me in Miss Delves's parlour, but I could not eat. Charlotte 
Delves was very kind. Both the doctors came up the avenue. 
I watched them into the house ; I heard them come downstairs 
again. The physician from Nettleby went straight out : Mr. 
Lowe came to the parlour. 

" My dear," he said to me, " you are to go up to Mrs. Edwin 
Barley." 

" Is she much worse, sir ? " I lingered to ask. 

" I can hardly say how she is," was his answer, " We must 
hope for the best." 

He stayed in the room himself, and shut the door while he 
talked to Miss Delves. The hall-clock struck ten as I passed 
under it, making me start. The hall was clear to-day, and tlie 
window and door stood a little open. Jemima told me that 
Philip King was in a sitting-room at the back, one that was 
rarely used, I ran quickly up to Selina's chamber. Mr. 
Edwin Barley was in it, to my dismay. He turned to leave it 
when I went in, and put his hand kindly enough upon my hair. 

" You look pale, little one ; you should run out of doors for 
a while." 

His wife watched him from the room with her strangely 
altered eyes, and then beckoned to me. 

" Shut the door, and bolt it, Anne." And very glad I felt 



62 ANNE HEREFORD. 

to do it. It was impossible to overcome my fear of Mr. Edwin 
Barley. 

" Do you think you could find your way to Hallam ? " 

" I dare say 1 could, auut." 

" Sclina, call me Selina," she impatiently interposed. " Call 
it me to the last." 

To the last ! 

" You remember the way you came from Nettleby, Anne ? 
lu going out at the gates by the lodge, Nettleby lies on your 
left hand, Haiiam on your right. You understand V " 

" Oh, quite." 

" You have only to turn to the right, and keep straight along 
the high road ; in a short time you come to Hallam village. 
The way is not at all lonely ; cottages and houses are scattered 
all along it." 

" I am sure I could go quite easily, Selina." 

"Then put your things on, and take this note," she said, 
giving me a little piece of paper twisted up, that she took from 
under the pillow. " In going down Hallam Street, you will 
see on the left hand a house standing by itself, with 'Mr. 
Gregg, Attorney-at-Law," on a plate on the door. Go in, ask 
to see Mr. Gregg alone, and give him that note. But mind, 
Anne, you are not to speak of this to any one. Should Mr. 
Edwin Barley or any one else meet you, and inquire where 
you are going, say only that you are walking out. Do you 
fully understand ? " 

" Yes." 

" Hide the note, so that no one sees it, and give it into Mr. 
Gregg's hands. Tell him I hope he will comprehend it, but 
that I was too ill to write more elaborately." 

No one noticed me as I left the house, and I pursued the 
road to Hallam, my head and thoughts full. Suppose Mr. 
Edwin Barley should meet and question me ! I knew that I 
should make a poor hand at decejition : besides being naturally 
open, mamma had brought me uj) to be so very candid and 
truthful. I had crushed the note inside my glove, having no 
better place of concealment — sujipose he should seize my hand 
and find it ! And if the gentleman I was going to sec should 



ANOTHER DREAM. 63 

not be at home, wliat was I to do tlieu'? Bring the note back 
to Selina, or leave it? I ongbt to have asked lier. 

" Well, my little maid, and wbere are you oft" to ? " 

Tlie salutation j)roceedcd from Mr. Martin, who had come 
right iiiwn me at a turning of the road. My face grew hot as 
I answered him. 

" I am out for a walk, sir." 

" But this is rather far to come alone. You are close upon 
Ilallam." 

" My Aunt Selina knov/s it, sir," I said, trembling lest ho 
should stop me, or order me to walk back with him. 

"Oh, very well," he answered, good-naturedly. "How is 
she to-day ? " 

" She is not any better, sir," I rej)lied. And he left me, 
telling me I was not to lose myself. 

I came to the houses, straggling at first, but soon contiguous 
to each other, as they are in most streets. Mr. Gregg's stood 
alone, its plate on the door. A young man came running out 
of it as I stood hesitating whether to knock or ring. 

" If you j)lcase, is Mr. Gregg at home ? " 

" Yes," answered he. " He is in the ofiice. You can go in 
if you want him." 

Opening an inner door, he showed me into a room where 
tlicre seemed to be a confused mass of faces. In reality there 
might have been three or four, but they multii)lied themselves 
to my timid eyes. 

" A little girl wants to see Mr. Gregg," said the young man. 

A tall gentleman came forward, with a pale face and grey 
whiskers. He said he was Mr. Gregg, and asked wliat my 
lousiness was. 

" I want to see you by yourself, if you please, sir." 

He led the way to another room, and I took the note out of 
my glove and gave it to him. He read it over — to me it 
appeared a long one — looked at me, and then read it again. 

" Are you Anne Hereford ? " 

"Yes," I said, wondering how he knew my name. "My 
aunt, Mrs. Edwin Barley, bade me say she was too ill to write 
it better, but she hoped you would understand it." 



64 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Is she so ill as to be in danger ? " 

" I am afraid so." 

He still looked at me, and twirled the note in his fingers. 
1 could sec that it was written with a pencil. 

" Do you know the purport of this ? " he inquired, pointing 
to the note. 

" No, sir." 

" Did you not read it coming along '? It was not sealed." 

" Oh, no. I did not take it out of my glove." 

" Well — tell Mrs. Edwin Barley tliat I perfectly understand, 
and shall immediately obey her : tell her all will be ready by 
the time she sends to me. And — stay a bit. Have you any 
Christian name besides Anne ? " 

" My name is Anne Ursula." 

" And what was your father's name ? And what your 
mother's ? " 

" Paj)a's was Thomas, and mamma's Ursula," I answered, 
w^ondering very much. 

He wrote down the names, asked a few more questions, and 
then showed me out at the street-door, giving a parting injunc- 
tion that I was not to forget the words of his message to Mrs. 
J]dwin Barley, and not to mention abroad that I had been to 
his office. 

Eeaching home without hindrance, I was about to enter the 
sick-room, when Miss Delves softly called to me from the 
u^jper stairs : Mrs. Edwin Barley was sleeping, and must not 
bo disturbed. So I went higher up to take my things off, and 
Charlotte Delves asked me into her chamber— a very nice one, 
immediately over Mrs. Edwin Barley's. 

" Tread softly, my dear. If she can only sleej), it will do 
her good." 

I would not tread at all, though the carpet was thick and 
soft, but sat down on the first chair. Miss Delves was changing 
her cap. She wore very nice ones always. 

" Miss Delves, I wish you'd please to tell me. Do you think 
my aunt will get well ? " 

" It is to be hoj)ed so," was the answer. " But Mr. Edwin 
Barley is fretting himself co fiddle-strings over it." 



ANOTHER DREAM. 65 

" Do yon tliiuk she will ! " 

Miss Dolvos Avas couibiug out her loug flaxen curls ; In-ight 
thick curls they Avcre ; very smooth, and of an exceedingly light 
shade. She twirled two round her finger before she answered. 

"Yes, I think she will. It is true that she is very ill — very; 
but, on the other hand, she has youth in her favour." 

" Is she dangerously ill '? " 

" No doubt. But how many people are there, lying in danger 
daily, who recover ! The worst of it is, she is so excited, so 
restless : the doctors don't like that. It is not be wondered at, 
with this trouble in the house ; she could not have fallen ill at 
a more unfortunate time. I think she has a good constitutioii." 

" Mamma xised to say that all the Carews had tliat. They 
were in general long-lived." 

Charlotte Delves looked round at me. " Your mamma was 
not long-lived. She died young — so to say." 

" But manuna's illness came on first from an accident. She 
was hurt in India. Oh, Miss Delves ! can't anything be done 
to cure my Aunt Selina ? " 

" My dear, everything will be done that it is possible to do. 
The doctors talk of the shock to the system ; but, as I say, she 
is young. You must not be too anxious ; it would answer no 
end. Had you a nice walk this morning ? " 

« Yes." 

She finished her hair, and put on the pretty cap, its rich lace 
lappets falling behind the curls. Then she took up her watch 
and chain, and looked out at tlie window as she put tliem round 
her neck. 

" Here's a policeman coming to the house ! 1 wonder what 
he wants ? " 

" Has there been any news yet of George Heneage ? " 

" None," she answered. " Heneage Grange is being watched." 

" Is that where he lives ? " 

" It is his father's place." 

" And is it near to here ? " 

" Oh no. More than a hundred miles away. The police 
think it not improbable that he escaped there at once. The 
Grange has been searched for him, we hear, unsuccessfully. 

Anne HerefuiJ. 



6G ANNE HEKEFORD. 

But tlie police are by no means sure that lie is not concealed 
there, and they have set a watch." 

" Oh dear ! I hope they will not find him ! " I said it with 
a shudder. The finding of George Heneage seemed to promise 
I knew not what renewal of horror. Charlotte Delves turned 
her eyes upon me in astonishment and reproof. 

" You hope they will not find him ! You cannot know what 
you are saying, Miss Hereford. I think I would give half the 
good that is left in my life to have him found — and hung. 
What right had he to take that poor young man's life ? or to 
bring this shocking trouble into a gentleman's family ? " 

Very true. Of course he had none. 

" Mr. Edwin Barley has taken a vow to track him out ; and 
he will be sure to do it, sooner or later. We will go doAvn, 
Miss Hereford." 

The policeman had not come upon the business, at all, but 
about some poaching matter. Mr. Edwin Barley came out of 
his wife's room as we were creeping by it. Charlotte Delves 
asked if Mrs. Edwin was awake. 

' " Awake ? Yes ! and in a most excitable state," he answered, 
irritably. " She does not sleej) three minutes together. It is 
giving herself no chance of recovery. She has got it in her 
head now that she's going to die, and is sending for Martin." 

He strode down to the waiting policeman. Charlotte Delves 
went into Mrs. Edwin Barley's room, and took me. Selina's 
cheeks were still hectic with fever ; her blue eyes bright and 
wild. 

"If you would only try to calm yourself, Mrs. Edwin 
Barley ! " 

" I am as calm as I can expect to be," was her answer, given 
with some petulance. " My husband need not talk : he's worse 
than I am. He says now the doctors are treating me wrongly, 
and that he shall call in a fresh one. I suppose I shall die 
between them." 

" I wish I knew what v.'ould soothe you," spoke Charlotte 
Delves, in a kind, pleasant voice. 

" I'm very thirsty, and have taken all the lemonade ; you can 
fetch me up some more. Anne, do you stay here." 



ANOTHER DREAM. 67 

Charlotte Delves took clown the lemonade waiter, and Selina 
drew me to her. "The message, Anne ! — the message! Did 
you see Mr. Gregg ? " 

I gave her the message as 1 had received it. It was well, 
she said, and turned away from me in her restlessness. Mr, 
Martin came in the afternoon : and from that time he seemed 
to be a great deal with Selina. A day or two passed on, bring- 
ing no change: she continued very ill, and George Heneage 
was not found. 

I had another walk to Hallam on the Friday. Philip King's 
funeral was to be on the Saturday, and the walk appeared to 
have some connexion with that event. Selina sent no note this 
time, but a mysterious message. 

" See Mr. Gregg alone as before, Anne," were the orders she 
gave me. " Tell him that the funeral is fixed for eleven o'clock 
to-morrow morning, and he must be at hand, and watch his 
time. You can mention that I am now too ill to write." 

" Tell him — what do you say, Selina ? " 

" Tell him exactly what I have told you ; he will understand, 
though you do not. Why do you make me speak ? " she added, 
irritably. " I send you in preference to a servant on this 
private business." 

I discharged the commission; and, with the exception of 
about one minute on my return, did not see Selina again that 
day. It was said in the household that she was a trifle better. 
Mr. Edwin Barley had been as good as his word, and a third 
doctor attended now, a solemn old gentleman in black dress 
clothes and gold spectacles. It transpired, no one but Miss 
Delves knowing with what truth, that he agreed 'with his two 
brethren in the treatment they had pursued. 

Saturday morning. The house woke up to a quiet bustle. 
People were going and coming, servants were moving about 
and preparing, all in a subdued decorous manner. The servants 
had been put into mourning — Mr. Edwin Barley was all in 
black, and Charlotte Delves rustled from roooi to room in rich 
black silk. Philip King had been related to her in a very 
distant degree. Mrs. Edwin Barley was no worse ; better, if 
anything, the doctors said. From what could be gathered by 



68 ANNE HEREFORD. 

us, who were not doctors, the throat was a trijflc bettor ; she 
herself weaker. 

The funeral was late. The clocks were striking eleven as 
it Avouud down the avenue on its way to the church, an old- 
fashioned little structure, situated at right angles between the 
house and Hallam. In the first black chariot sat the clergyman, 
Mr. Martin ; then followed the hearse ; then two mourning- 
coaches. In the first were Mr, Edwin Barley, his brother, and 
two gentlemen whom I did not know — they were the mourners ; 
in the other were the six pall-bearers. Some men walked in 
hatbands, and the carriages were drawn by four horses, bearing 
phimes. 

" Is it out of sight, Anne ? " 

The questioner was my aunt, for it was at her window I 
stood, peeping inside the blind. It had been out of sight 
some minutes, I told her, and must have passed the lodge. 

" Then go downstairs, Anne, and open the hall-door. Stand 
there until Mr. Gregg comes ; he will have a clerk with him : 
bring them uj) here. Do all this quietly, child." 

In five minutes Mr. Gregg arrived, a young man accompany- 
ing him. I shut the hall-door and took them upstairs. They 
trod so softly ! just as though they would avoid being heard. 
Selina held out her hand to Mr. Gregg. 

" How are you to-day, Mrs. Edwin Barley ? " 

" They say I am better," she replied ; " I hope I am. Is it 
quite ready ? " 

" Quite," said he, taking a parchment from one of his pockets, 
" You will hear it read '? " 

" Yes ; that I may see whether you understood my imperfect 
letter. I hope it is not long. The church, you know, is not 
60 far oft" ; they will be back soon." 

" It is quite short," Mr. Gregg replied, having bent his ear 
to catch her speech, for she spoke low and imperfectly. 
" Where shall my clerk w^ait whilst I read it ? " 

She sent us into her dressing-room, the clerk and I, whence we 
oould hear Mr. Gregg's voice slov/ly reading something, but 
could not distinguish words or sense ; once I caught the name 
*' Anne Ursula Hereford." And then we were called in again. 



ANOTHER DREAM. G9 

" Aune, go downstairs and find Jemima," were the next orders. 
" Bring lier up here." 

" Is it to give her her medicine ? " asked Jemima, as she 
followed me iii)stairs. 

" I don't know." 

" My girl," began the attorney to Jemima, " can you be dis- 
creet, and hold your tongue ? " 

Jemima stared very much : first at seeing them there, next 
at the question. She gave no answer in her surjorise, and Mrs. 
Edwin Barley made a sign that she should come close to 
her. 

" Jemima, I am sure you know that I have been a good 
mistress to you, and I ask you to render me a slight service in 
return. In my present state of health, I have thought it neces- 
sary to make my will ; to devise away the trifle of projierty I 
possess of my own. I am about to sign it, and you and Mr. 
Gregg's clei-k ^\411 witness my signature. The service I require 
of you is, that you will not speak of this to any one. Can I 
rely upon you ? " 

" Yes, ma'am, certainly you may," replied the servant, speak- 
ing in earnest tones; and she evidently meant to keep her 
word honestly. 

" And my clerk I have answered to you for," put in Mr. 
Gregg, as he raised Mrs. Edwin Barley and placed the open 
parchment before her. 

She signed her name, " Selina Barley ; " the clerk signed his, 
" William Dixon ; " and Jemima hers, " Jemima Lea." Mr. 
Gregg remarked that Jemima's writing might be read, and it 
was as much as coiild be said of it. She quitted the room, and 
soon afterwards Mr. Gregg and his clerk took their departure 
in the same quiet manner that they had come. I was closing 
the hall-door after them, when the sound of silk, rustling up, 
fell on my startled ears, and Charlotte Delves stepped into the 
hall from one of the passages. She had been shut up in her 
parlour. 

" Who is it that has gone out ? " 

But I was already half-way up to Selina'a room, and would 
not hear. Miss Delves opened the door and looked after them. 



70 ANNE HEREFORD. 

And at that moment Jemima appeared. Charlotte Delves laid 
hold of her, and no doubt turned her inside out. 

"Anne, my dear, if I die you are now provided for. At 
least " 

" Oh, Selina ! Selina ! You cannot be going to die ! " 

" Perhaps not. I hope not. Yes, I do hope it, Anne, in 
spite of my fancied warning— which, I suppose, was only a 
dream, after all. My mind must have dwelt on what you said 
about Ursula. If you ever relate to me anything of the sort 
again, Anne, I'll beat you." 

I stood conscience-stricken. But in telling her what I did, 
I had only obeyed my mother, I like to repeat this over and 
over again. 

" At least, as well jwovided for as I have it in my power to 
provide," she continued, just as though there had been no inter- 
ruption. " I have left you my four thousand pounds. It is 
out at good interest — five per cent. ; and I have directed it to 
accumulate until you are eighteen. Then it goes to you. This 
will just keep you ; just be enough to keep you from going out 
as a governess. If I live, you will have your home with me 
after leaving school. Of course, that governess scheme was all 
a farce ; Ursula could only have meant it so. The world would 
stare to see a governess in a granddaughter of Carew of 
Keppe-Carew." 

The will lay on the bed. She told me to lock it Tip in the 
opposite cabinet, taking the keys from underneath the pillow, 
and I obeyed her. By her directions, I took the cabinet key 
off the bunch, locked it up alone in a drawer, a'nd she returned 
the bunch underneath her pillow. By that time she could not 
speak at all. Charlotte Delves, hajipening to come in, asked 
what she had been doing to reduce her strength like that. 

It was a miserable day after they came in from the funeral. 
Mr, Edwin Barley did not seem to know what to do with him- 
self, and the other people had gone home. Mr. Martin was 
alone with Selina for a great portion of the afternoou. At first 
I did not know he was there, and looked in. The clergyman 
was kneeling down by the bed, praying aloud. I shut the door 
a^ain, hoping they had not heard it open. In the evening 



DEAD ! 71 

Selina appeared considerably better. She sat up in bed, and 
took a few spoonfuls of arrowroot. Mr. Edwin Barley, who 
was in the arm-chair near the fire, said it was i)oor stutf, and 
she ought to take either brandy or wine, or both. 

" Let me give you some in that, Selina," he cried. And 
inelced he had been wanting to give it her all along. 

" I should be afraid to take it ; don't tease me," she feebly 
answered, and it was astonishing how low her voice was getting. 
" You know what the doctors say, Edwin. When once the 
inflammation (or whatever it is) in the throat has passed, then 
I may be fed up every hour. Perhaps they will let me begin 
to-morrow." 

" If they don't mind, they'll keep you so low that — that we 
shall have to give you a bottle of brandy a day." I think the 
concluding words, after the pause, had been quite changed from 
what he had been going to say, and he spoke half-jokingly. 
" I know that the proper treatment for you would have been 
stimulants. I told Lowe so again to-day, but he would not 
have it. But for one thing, I'd take the case into my own 
hands, and give you a wine-glass of brandy now." 

" And that one thing ? " she asked, in her scarcely perceptible 
voice. 

" The doubt that I might do wrong." 

Jemima appeared at the door with a candle : it was my 
signal. Selina kissed me twice, and said she should hope to 
get up on the morrow. I went round to Mr. Edwin Barley. 

" Good-night, sir." 

" Is it your bed-time, child ? Good-night." 



CHAPTER VL 

dead! 

Eight o'clock the next morning, and the church-bells ringing 
out on the sunshiny air ! Everytliing looked joyous as I drew 
up the blind — kept down for a week previously. I dressed 
myself, without waiting for Jemima, in my Sunday frock with 



72 ANXE IIKREFOPJ). 

its deep crajoe triiimiings. Tlie house would be open again 
to-day ; Selina be sitting up. 

I scrambled over my dressing ; I fear I scrambled over my 
prayers. Everything was so still below I thought they had 
forgotten me. Going down, 1 knocked at Selina's door, and 
was waiting to hear her answer, when one of the maids came 
running up the stairs in a flurry. It was Sarah. 

" You cannot go in there, Miss Hereford." 

" I want to see how my aunt is." 

" Oh, she — she — you must not go in, miss, I say. Your 
aunt cannot see you just now ; you must please go down into 
Miss Delves's parlour." 

Dropping the handle of the door in obedience, I went down 
a few steps. Sarah ascended to the upper flights. But the 
girl's manner had alarmed me ; and, without any thought of 
doing wrong, I turned back, and softly opened the door. The 
curtains were drawn closely round the bed. 

" Are you worse, Selina '? " 

No reply came,, and 1 feared she was worse. Perhaps lying 
with leeches to Iter throat. I had seen leeches to a throat 
once, and had never forgotten the sight. At that moment the 
appearance of the room struck me as strange. It seemed to 
hare been put to rights. I pulled open the curtain in full drea<l 
of the leeches. 

Alas ! it was not leeches I saw ; but a still, white face. The 
face of my Aunt Selina, it is true, but — dead. I shrieked out, 
in my terror, and flew into the arms of Sarah, who came run- 
ning in. 

" What is the matter ? " exclaimed Charlotte Delves, flying 
uj) to the landing where we stood. 

" Why, Miss Hereford has been in there ; and I told her not 
to go ! " said Sarah, hushing my face to her as she spoke. 
" Why couldn't you listen to me, miss ? " 

" I didn't know Miss Hereford was up ; she should have 
waited for Jemima," said Charlotte Delves, as she laid hold of 
me, and led me down to her parlour, 

" Oh, Miss Delves, Miss Delves, what is it ? " I sobbed, " Is 
she really dead ? " 



DEAD ! 73 

" She is (lead, all too certain, my clear. But I am very sorry 
you should have gone in. It is just like Jemima's carelessness." 

"What's that? — that's like my carelessness. Miss Delves? " 
resentfully inquired Jemima, Avho had come forward on hearing 
the noise. 

" Why, your suffering this child to dress herself alone, and 
go about the house at large. One would think you might have 
been attentive this morning, of all others." 

" I went up just before eight, and she was asleep," answered 
Jemima, with as pert an accent as she dared to use. " Who 
was to imagine she'd awake and be down so soon ? " 

" Why did she die ? what killed her ? " I asked, my sobs 
choking me. " Dead ! dead ! My Aunt Selina dead I " 

" She was taken worse at eleven o'clock last night, and Mr. 
Lowe was sent for," explained Charlotte Delves. " He could 
do nothing, and she died at two." 

" Where was Mr. Edwin Barley ? " 

" He was with her." 

" Not when she w\as taken worse," interposed Jemima. " I 
was with her alone. It was my turn to sit uj), and she had 
spoken quite cheerfully to me. Before settling myself in the 
arm-chair, I went to see if she had dropped asleep. My 
patience ! — my heart went pit-a-pat at the change in her. I 
ran for Mr. Edwin Barley, and he came in. Mr. Lowe was 
sent for : everything was done, but she could not be saved." 

I turned to Charlotte Delves in my sad distress. " She was 
so much better last night," I said, imploringly. "She was 
getting well." 

" It was a deceitful improvement," replied Charlotte Delves 
— and she seemed really sad and grieved. " Lowe said he 
could have told us so had he been here. Mr. Edwin Barley 
quite flew out at him, avowing his belief that it was the medical 
treatment that had killed her." 

" And was it ? " I eagerly asked, as if, the point ascertained, 
it could bring her back to life. "Do they know what she 
died of? " 

" As to knowing, I don't think any of them know too much,** 
answered Charlotte Delves. "The doctors say the disorder, 



74 ANNE HEREFORD. 

together with the shock her system had received, could not be 
subdued. Mr. Edwin Barley says it could have been, under a 
different treatment. Lowe tells me now he had little hope from 
the first." 

" And couldn't open his lips to say so ! " interposed Jemima. 
" It's just like those doctors. The master is dreadfully cut up." 

They tried to make me take some breakfast, but I could 
neither eat nor drink. Jemima said they had had theirs " ages 
ago." None of the household had been to bed since the alarm. 

" All I know is, that if blame lies anywhere it is with the 
doctors," observed Charlotte Delves, as she pressed me to eat. 
" Every direction they gave v,as minutely followed." 

" Why did no one fetch me dov/n to see her ? " 

" Child, she never asked for you ; she was past thinking of 
things. And to you it would only have been a painful sight." 

" That's true," added Jemima. " When I looked at her, all 
unconcerned, I saw death in her face. It frightened me, I can 
tell you. I ran to call the master, thinking — — " 

" Thinking what ? " spoke Charlotte Delves, for Jemima had 
made a sudden i)ause. 

"Nothing particular. Miss Delves. Only that something 
which had happened in the day was odd," added Jemima, 
glancing significantly at me. "The master was in his room 
half undressed, and he came rushing after me, just as he was. 
The minute he looked on her he murmured that she was dying, 
and sent off a man for Mr. Lowe, and another for the old doctor 
from Nettleby. Lowe came at once, but the other did not get 
here till it was over. She died at two." 

Jemima would have enlarged on the details for ever. I felt 
sick as I listened. Even now, as I write, a sort of sickness 
comes over me with the remembrance. I wandered into the 
hall, and was sobbing with my head against the dining-room 
door-post, not knowing any one was there, when Mr. Edwin 
Barley gently unlatched the door and looked out. 

He had been weeping, as was easy to be seen. His eyes 
were red — his air and manner subdued ; but my acquired fear 
of him was in full force, and I would rather have gone away 
than been di*awn in. 



DEAD! 75 

« Child, don't cry so." 

" I never took leave of her, sir. I did not see her before she 
died." 

" If weeping tears of blood wonld bring her back to life, 
she'd be here again," he responded, almost fiercely. " They 
have killed her between them ; they have, Anne ; and, by 
Heavens ! if there was any law to touch them, they should 
feel it." 

" Who, sir ? " 

" The doctors. And precious doctors they have proved them- 
selves ! Why do you tremble so, child ? They have not 
understood the disorder from the first : it is one requiring the 
utmost possible help from stimulants ; otherwise the system 
cannot battle with it. They gave her none ; they kept her uijou 
water, and — she is lying there. Oh I that I had done as it 
perpetually crossed my mind to do ! " he continued, clasping 
his hands together in anguish. " That I had taken her treat- 
ment upon myself, risking the responsibility ! She would have 
been living now ! " 

If ever a man spoke the genuine sentiments of his heart, 
Mr. Edwin Barley ai)peared to do so then, and a little bit of 
my dislike of him subsided — ^just a shade of it. 

" I am sorry you should have come into the house at this 
time, my poor child ; some spell seems to have been upon it 
ever since. Go now to Charlotte Delves ; tell her I say she is 
to take good care of you." 

He shut himself in again as I went away. Oh, the restless 
day ! the miserable day ! That, and the one of mamma's death, 
remain still upon my memory as the two sad epochs of my life, 
standing out consj)icuously in their bitterness. 

Moving about the house restlessly ; shedding tears by turns ; 
leaning my head on the sofa in Miss Delves's parlour ! She 
was very kind to me ; but what was any kindness to me then ? 
It seemed to me that I could never, never be hapi)y again. I 
had so loved Selina ! 

1 wanted to see her again. It was almost as if I had not 
seen her in the morning, for the shock of sui'prise had startled 
away my senses. I had looked upon mamma so many times 



76 ANNE HEREFORD. 

after death, that the customary dread of childhood at such 
sights lingered but little with me. And I began to watch f<^r 
an opi)ortunity to go in. 

It came at twilight. In passing the room I saw the door 
open, and supposed some of the maids might be there. In I 
went bravely; and passed round to the far side of the bed, 
nearest to the window and the fading light. 

But I had not courage to draw aside the curtain quite at 
first, and sat down for a moment in the low chair by the bed- 
head, to wait until courage came. Some one else came first ; 
and that was Mr. Edwin Barley. 

He walked slowly in, carrying a candle, startling me almost 
to sickness. His slippers were light, and I had not heard his 
approach. It must have been he who had left the door open, 
probably having been to fetch the very candle in his hand. He 
did not come near the bed, at least on the side where I was, 
but seemed to be searching for something ; looking about, open- 
ing two or three drawers. I sat cowering, feeling I had no 
business to be there ; my heart was in my mouth, when he went 
to the door and called Charlotte Delves. 

" Where are my wife's keys ? " he inquired, as she came up. 

" I do not know," was her answer ; and she began to look about 
the room as he had previously done. " They must be somewhere." 

" Not know ! But it was your place to take possession of 
them, Charlotte. I want to examine her desk ; there may be 
directions left in it, for all I can tell." 

" I really forgot all about the keys," Charlotte"^ Delves said 
dcprecatingly. " I will ask the women who were here. Why ! 
here they are ; in this china basket on the mantelpiece," she 
suddenly exclaimed. " I knew they could not be far off." 

Mr. Edwin Barley took the keys, and went out, the desk 
under his arm. Charlotte followed him, and closed the door. 
But I was too much scared to attempt to remain ; I softly 
opened it, and stole out after them, waiting against the wall in 
the shade. They had halted at the turning to Mr. Barley's 
study, half-way down the stairs, and were talking in subdued 
tones. Charlotte Delves was telling him of the lawyer's visit 
on the previous day. 



DEAD ! 77 

" I did not mention it before," slic observed. " Of course, 
while jioor Mrs. Edwin was hero, it was not my business to 
rejjort to you on anything she might do, and to-day has liad 
too much trouble in it. But there's no doubt that Gregg was 
here, and a clerk with him. Little Miss Hereford showed them 
out, and I suppose admitted them. It was an odd time to 
choose for the visit — the hour of the funeral." 

Can you imagine how terrified I felt as Charlotte Delves 
related this V I had done no wrong ; I had simply obeyed the 
orders of Mrs. Edwin Barley ; but it was uncertain what 
amount of blame her husband might lay to my share, and how 
he would punish it. 

" It is strange what Gregg could be doing here at that time 
with a clerk ; and in j^rivate, as you ai)i)ear to assume," said Mr. 
Edwin Barley. " Could he have come by ajipointmcnt, to 
transact any legal business for my wife V " 

" But, if so, why should she wish it kept from youV" And 
Charlotte Delves's voice had a jealous ring in it : jealous for 
the rights of her coiisin, Edwin Barley. 

" I don't know. The little girl may be able to explain. 
Call her up." 

Another fright for me. But the next moment his voice 
countermanded the order. 

" Never mind, Charlotte ; let it be. When I want information 
of Anne Hereford, I'll question her myself. And if my wife 
did anything, made a will, or gave Gregg any other directions, 
we shall soon know of it." 

" Made a will ! " exclaimed Charlotte Delves. 

" I should not think it likely that she would without speakiug 
to me, but she could do it : she was of age," replied Mr. Barley. 

He went into his study with the desk, and Charlotte Delves 
passed downstairs. I got into her parlour as soon as slie did ; 
never having seen my dear Aunt Selina. 

They took me to see her the next day, when she was in her 
first coffin. She looked very calm and peaceful ; but I think 
the dead, generally speaking, do look peaceful ; whether they 
have died a happy death or not. A few autumn flowers were 
strewed upon her flannel shroud. 



78 ANNE HEREFORD. 

In coming out of the room, my face streaming with teari?, 
there stood Mr. Lowe. 

" Oh, sir ! " I cried, iu my burst of grief, " Avhat made her 
die ? Could you not have saved her ? " 

" My little girl, what she really died of was exhaustion," he 
answered. " The disease took hold of her, and she could not 
rally from it. As to saving her — God alone could have done 
that." 

There was no inquest this time. The doctors certified to 
some cause of death. The house was more closely shut up 
than before ; the servants went about speaking in whispers ; 
deeper mourning was prepared for them. In Selina's desk a 
paper had been found by Mr. Edwin Barley — a few pencilled 
directions on it, should she " unhappily die." Therefore the 
prevision of death had been really upon her. She named two 
or three persons whom she should wish to attend her funeral, 
Mr. Grregg being one of them. 

■-- Saturday again, and another funeral! Ever since, even to 
this hour, Saturdays and funerals have been connected together 
in my impressionable mind. I had a pleasant dream early that 
morning. I saw Selina in bright white robes, looking peace- 
fully happy, saying that her sins had been washed away by 
Jesus Christ, the Redeemer. I had previously sobbed myself 
to sleep, hoijing that they had. 

It was fixed for twelve o'clock this time. The long pro- 
cession, longer than the other one had been, wound down the 
avenue. Mr. Edwin Barley went in a coach by himself; per- 
haps he did not like to be seen grieving ; three or four coaches 
followed it, and some private carriages, Mr. Barley's taking 
the lead. There was not a dry eye amidst the household — us, 
who were left at home — ^with the exception of Charlotte Delves. 
I did not see her weep at all, then or previously. The narrow 
crape tucks on her gown were exchanged for wide ones, and 
some black love-ribbon mingled with her hair. I sobbed till 
they came back, sitting by myself in the dining-room. 

It was the very room they filed into, those who entered. A 
formidable array, in their sweeping scarves and hatbands ; too 
formidable for me to pass, and I shrank into the far corner, 



DEAD ! 79 

between the Kideboartl and the dumb-waiter, Biit tbey began to 
leave again, only just saying good-day in a low tone to Mr. 
Edwin Barley, and got into tlie coaches that waited. Mr. Gregg 
the lawyer remained, and Mr. Barley. 

" Pardon me that I stay," observed the lawyer to Mr. Edwin 
Barley ; " I am but obeying the request of your late wife. She 
charged me, in the event of her death, to stay and read the will 
after the funeral." 

" The will ! " echoed Mr. Edwin Barley. 

" She made a will just before she died. She gave me instruc- 
tions for it privately ; though what her motives were for keei)- 
ing it a secret, she did not state. It was executed on the day 
previous to her death." 

"This is news to me," observed Mr. Edwin Barley. "Do 
you hold the will ? " 

" No, I left it with her. You had better remain, my little 
girl," the lawyer added to me, touching my arm with his black 
glove as I was essaying to quit the room. " The will concerns 
you. I asked your wife if I should take possession of it, but 
she preferred to keep it herself." 

" I do not know where it can have been put, then," returned 
Mr. Edwin Barley, whilst his brother lifted his head in interest. 
" I have examined her desk and one or two of her draw^ers 
where she kept papers ; but I have found no will." 

" Perhaps you did not look particularly for a will, not know- 
ing she had made one, and so it may have escaped your notice, 
sir," suggested the lawyer. 

" Pardon me ; it was the precise thing I looked for. I heard 
of your visit to my wife : not, however, until after her death ; 
and it struck me that your coming might have reference to 
something of the sort. But I found no will : only a few 
pencilled words on a half-sheet of paper in her desk. Do you 
know where it was put ?," 

The lawyer turned to me. "Perhaps this little lady may 
know," he said. " She made one in the room when I was with 
Mrs. Edwin Bai-ley, and may have seen afterwards where the 
will was placed." 

Again I felt sick with apprehension : few children at my age 



80 ANNE HEREFORD. 

have ever beeu so Bhy and sensitive. It seemed to me that all 
was coming out ; at any rate, my share in it. But I spoke 
pretty bravely. 

" You mean the jiaper that you left on my Aunt Selina's bed, 
sir ? I init it in the cabinet ; she directed me to do so." 

" In the cabinet ? " repeated Mr. Edwin Barley to me. 

" Yes, sir. Just inside as you open it." 

" Will you go with me to search for it V " said Mr. Edwin 
Barley to the lawyer. " And you can go into Miss Delves's 
parlour, Anne ; little girls are better out of these affairs." 

" Pardon me," dissented Mr. Gregg. " Miss Hereford, as the 
only interested party, had better remain. And if she can 
show us where the will is, it will save time." 

Mr. Edwin Barley looked as if he meant to object, but did not. 
" The child's nerves have been unhinged," he said to the lawyer, 
as they went upstairs, I and Mr. Barley following. 

The key of the cabinet lay in the corner of the drawer where 
I had placed it. Mr. Edwin Barley took it from me and opened 
the cabinet. But no will was to be seen. 

" I did not think of looking here," he observed ; " my wife 
never used the cabinet to my knowledge. There is no will here." 

There was no will anywhere, apparently. Drawers were 
opened ; her desk, standing now on the drawers, was searched ; 
all without effect. 

" It is very extraordinary," said Mr. Gregg to him. 

"I can only come to one conclusion^that my wife must 
have destroyed it herself. It is true the keys were lying about 
for several hours subsequent to her death, at any one's com- 
mand ; but who would steal a will ? " 

"I do not suppose Mrs. Edwin Barley would destroy it," 
dissented Mr. Gregg. "Nothing can be more improbable. 
She expressed her happiness at having been able to make a will ; 
her great satisfaction. Who left the keys about, sir ? " 

" The blame of that lies with Charlotte Delves. It escaped 
her memory to secure them, she tells me : and in the confusion 
of the sudden blow, it is not to be wondered at. But, and if 
the keys were left about ? 1 have honest people in my house, 
Mr. Gregg." 



BEAD ! 81 

" Who benefited by the will ? " asked Mr. Barley of the Oaks. 
He had helped in the search, and was now looking on with a 
face of i^uzzled concern. " Who comes into the money, Gregg ? " 

" Ay, who ? " put in Mr. Edwin Barley. 

" This little girl, Anne Ursula Hereford. Mrs. Edwin 
Barley bequeathed to her the whole of her money, and also her 
trinkets, excejjt the trinkets that had been your own gift to 
her, Mr. Edwin Barley." And he proceeded to detail the 
provisions of the short will. " In fact, she left to Miss Here- 
ford everything of value she had to leave ; money, clothes, 
trinkets. It is most strange where the will can be." 

" It is more than strange," observed Mr. Edwin Barley. 
" Why did she wish to make the will in secret ? " 

" I have told you, sir, that she did not say why." 

" But can you not form an idea wliy ? " 

" It occurred to me that she thought you might not like her 
leaving all she had away from you, and might have feared you 
would interfere." 

" No," he quietly said, " I should not have done that. Every 
wish that she confided to me should have been scrui)ulously 
carried out." 

" Oh, but come, you know ! a big sheet of parchment, scaled 
and inscribed, can't vanish in this way," exclaimed Mr. Barley. 
" It must bs somewhere in the room." 

It might be, but no one could find it. Mr. Barley grew quite 
excited and angry : Mr. Edwin was calm throughout. Mr. 
Barley went to the door, calling for Miss Delves. 

" Charlotte, come up here. Do you hear, Charlotte ? " 

She ran up qxxickly, evidently wondering. 

" Look here," cried Mr. Barley : " Mrs. Edwin's will can't be 
foimd. It was left in this cabinet, my bi^other is told." 

" Oh, then, Mrs. Edwin did make a will ? " was the response 
of Charlotte Delves. 

" Yes ; but it is gone," repeated Mr. Barley of the Oaks. 

" It cannot be gone," said Charlotte. " If the will was left 
in the cabinet, there it would be now." 

The old story was gone over again ; nothing more. The will 
had been made, and as certainly placed there. The servants 

Anne Hereford. 6 



82 ANNE HEREFORD. 

were honest, not capable of meddling witli that or anything 
else. But there was no sign or symptom of a will left. 

" It is very strange," exclaimed Mr. Edwin Barley, looking 
furtively from the corner of his black eyes at most of us in 
succession, as if we were in league against him or against the 
will. " I will have the house searched throughout." 

The search took place that same evening. Himself, his 
brother, Mr. Gregg, and Charlotte Delves took part in it. 
Entirely without success. 

And in my busy heart there was running a conviction all 
the time, that Mr. Edwin Barley had himself made away with 
the will. 

" Will you not act in accordance with its provisions, sir ? " 
Mr. Gregg asked him as he was leaving. 

" I do not think I shall," said Mr. Edwin Barley. " Produce 
the will, and every behest in it shall be fulfilled. Failing a 
will, my wife's property becomes mine, and I shall act as I 
please by it." 

The days went by ; ten unhappy days. I spent most of my 
time with Miss Delves, seeing scarcely anything of Mr. Edwin 
Barley. Part of the time he was staying at his brother's, but 
now and then I met him in the passages or the hall. He would 
give me a nod, and pass by. I cannot describe my state of 
feeling, or how miserable the house appeared to me : I was as 
one unsettled in it, as one who livecl in constant discomfort, 
fear, and dread ; though, of what, I could not define. Jemima 
remarked one day that " Miss Hereford went about moithered, 
like a fish out of water." 

The will did not turn up, and probably never would : neither 
was any clue given to the mystery of its disappearance. Mean- 
while rumours of its loss grew rife in the household and in the 
neighbourhood. Whether the lawyer talked, or Mr. Barley of 
the Oaks, and thus set them afloat, was uncertain, but it was 
thought to have been one or the other. I know I had said 
nothing ; Charlotte Delves said she had not ; neither, beyond 
doubt, had Mr. Edwin Barley. When an acquaintance once 
asked him whether the report was true, he answered, Yes, it 
was true so far as that Mr. Gregg said his late wife had made 



DEAD! 83 

a will, and it could uot bo fouud ; but Lis own belief was that 
sbe must have destroyed it again ; he could not susjiect that 
any of the household would tamper with its mistress's private 
affairs. 

One day Mr. Edwin Barley called me to him. I was stand- 
ing by the large Michaelmas-daisy shrub, and he passed along 
the i)ath. 

" Are you quite sure," he asked in his sternest tone, but 
I)erhai5S it was only a serious one, " that you did not reopen the 
cabinet yourself, and do something with the parchment?" 

" I never opened it again, sir. If I had, my aunt must have 
seen me. And I could not have done so," I added, recollecting 
myself, " for she kept the bunch of keys under her pillow." 

" She was the only one, though, who knev/ where it was 
placed," muttered Mr. Edwin Barley to himself, alluding to 
me, as he walked on. 

" It's a queer start about that will ! " Jemima resentfully 
remarked that same night when she was undressing me. " And 
I don't half like it ; I can tell you that. Miss Hereford. They 
may turn round on me next, and say I made away with it." 

" That's not likely, Jemima. The will would not do you any 
good. Do you think it will ever be found ? " 

" It's to be hojied it will— with all this unpleasantness ! I 
wish I had never come within hearing of it, for my part. The 
day old Gregg and the young man were here, Charlotte Delves 
got hold of me, pum2)ing me on this side, pumping me on that. 
Had they been up to Mrs. Edwin Barley ? she asked : and what 
had their business been with her ? She didn't get much out of 
me, but it made me as cross as two sticks. It is droll where 
the will can have gone ! One can't suspect Mr. Edwin Barley of 
touching it ; and I don't ; but the loss makes him all the richer. 
That's the way of the world," concluded Jemima : " the moi-e 
money one has, the more one gets added to it. It is said that 
he comes into possession of forty thousand pounds by the death 
of Philip King." 

The ten days' sojoui'n in the desolate house ended, and then 
Charlotte Delves told me I was going to leave it. In con- 
sequence of the death of Selina^ the trustees had assigned to 



84 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Mrs. Hcmsou tlio task of cboosing a scliool for me. Mrs. 
Hemson had fixed on one near to the town where she resided, 
Dashleigh ; and I was to jiass a week at Mrs. Hemson's house 
hefore entering it. On the evening previous to my dejiarture, 
a message came from Mr. Edwin Barley that I was to go to 
him in the dining-room. Charlotte Delves smoothed my hair 
with her fingers, and sent me in. He was at dessert : fruit and 
wine were on the table ; and John set a chair for me. Mr. 
Edwin Barley put some walnuts that he cracked and a bunch 
of grapes on my plate. 

" Will you take some wine, little girl ? " 

" No, thank you, sir. I have just had tea." 

Presently he put a small box into my hands. I remembered 
having seen it on Selina's dressing-table. 

" It contains a few of your Aunt Selina's trinkets," he said. 
* All she brought here, except a necklace, which is of value, 
and will be forwarded, with some of her more costly clothes, 
to Mrs. Hemson for you. Do you think you can take care of 
these until you are of an age to wear them ? " 

" I Avill take great care of them, sir. I will lock them up in 
the little desk mamma gave me, and I wear the key of it round 
my neck," 

" Mind you do take care of them," he rejoined, with sup- 
pressed emotion. " If I thought you would not, I would never 
give them to you. You must treasure them always. And 
these things, recollect, are of value," he added, touching tlie 
box. " They are not child's toys. Take them upstairs, and 
put them in your trunk." 

"If you please, sir, lias the will been found?" I waited 
to ask. 

"It has not. Why?" 

" Because, sir, you asked me if I had taken it ; you said I 
was the only one who knew where it had been put. Indeed, 
I would not have touched it for anything." 

" Be easy, little girl. I believe my wife herself destroyed 
the will ; but I live in hope of coming to the bottom of the 
mystery yet. As you have introduced the subject, you shall 
hear a Avord upon it from me. Busybodies have given me hints 



DEAD! S5 

that I ouglit to carry out its substance iu spite of the loss. 1 
do not tliink so. The will, and. what I hear connected with its 
making, has angered me, look you, Anne Hereford. Had my 
wife only breathed half a word to mo that she wished you to 
have her money, every shilling should be yours. But I don't 
like the underhand work that went on in regard to it, and shall 
hold it j)recisely as though it had never existed. If I ever 
relent in your favour, it ^^dll not be yet awhile." 

"I did not know she was going to leave me anything, 
indeed, sir." 

" Just so. But it was you who undertook the communications 
to Gregg, it seems, and admitted him when he came. You all 
acted as though I were a common enemy ; and it has vexed me 
in no measured degree. That's all, child. Take another 
bunch of grapes with you." 

I went away, carrying the casket and the grajjes. Jemima 
was packing my trunks when I went uj)stairs, and she shared 
the grapes and the delight of looking at the contents of the 
casket : Selina's thin gold chain, and her beautiful little French 
watch, two or three bracelets, some rings, brooches, and a 
smelling-bottle encased in filigree gold. All these treasures 
were mine. At first I gazed at them with a mixed feeling, in 
which awe and sorrow held their share ; Jemima the same : it 
seemed a profanation to rejoice over what had been so recently 
hers : but the sorrow soon lost itself in the moment's seduct'on. 
Jemima hung the chain and watch round her own neck, put on 
all the bracelets, thrust the largest of the rings on her little 
finger, and figured off before the glass ; whilst I knelt on a 
chair looking on in mute admiration, anticipating the time 
when they would be adorning me. Ah, my readers ! when we 
indeed become of an age to wear ornaments, how poor is the 
pleasure they afford then, compared with that other early 
anticipation ! 

A stern voice shouting out " Anne Hereford ! " broke the 
cliarm, startling us excessively. Jemima tore off the ornaments, 
I jumped from the chair. 

" Anne, I want you," came the reiterated call. 

It was from Mr. Edwin Barley. He stood at the foot of the 



86 ANNE HEREFORD. 

stairs as I ran down, my heart beating, expecting nothing but 
that the precious treasures were going to be wrested from me. 
Taking my hand, he led me into the dining-room, sat down, 
and held me before him. 

" Anne, yon are a sensible little girl," he began, " and will 
understand what I say to you. The events, the tragedies 
which have hajipened in this house since you came to it, aro 
not pleasant ; they do not bring honour either to the living or 
the dead. Were everything that occurred' to be rigidly in^ 
vestigated, a large share of blame might be cast on my wife, 
your Aunt Selina. It is a reflection I would have striven to 
shield her from had she lived. 1 would doubly shield her now 
that she is dead. "Will you do the same ? " 

" Yes, sir ; I should like to do so." 

" That is right. Henceforth, when strangers question you, 
you must know nothing. The better plan will be to be wholly 
silent. Kemember, child, I urge this for Selina's sake. We 
know how innocent of deliberate wrong she was, but she was 
careless, and people might put a different construction on 
things. They might be capable of saying that she urged 
Heneage to revenge. You were present at that scene by the 
summer-house, from which Heneage ran off, and shot King. 
Do not ever speak of it." 

I think my breath went away from me in my consternation. 
How had Mr. Edwin Barley learnt that ? It could only have 
been from Selina. 

" She sent me after Mr. Heneage, sir, to tell him to let Philii^ 
King alone — to command it in his mother's name." 

'*■'■ I know. Instead of that he went and shot him. I would 
keep my wife's name out of all this ; you must do the same. 
But that you are a child of right feeling and of understanding 
beyond your years, I should not say this to you. Good-bye. 
1 shall not see you in the morning." 

" Good-bye, sir," I answered. " Thank you for letting them 
all be kind to me." 

And he shook hands with me for the first time. 



( 87 ) 
CHAPTER VII. 

AT MISS FENTON's. 

I MUST Lave been a very impressionable child ; easily swayed 
by the ojjinions of those about me. The idea conveyed to my 
miud by what I had heard of Mrs. Hemson was, that she was 
something of an ogre with claws ; and I can truthfully say, I 
would almost as soon have been consigned to the care of an 
ogre as to hers. I felt so all the time I was going to her. 

Charlotte Delves placed me in the ladies' carriage at Nettleby 
Station under charge of the guard — ^just as it had been in 
coming. And once more I, poor lonely little girl, was being 
whirled on a railroad journey. But ah ! with what a sad 
amount of experience added to my young life ! 

Two o'clock was striking as the train steamed into Dash- 
leigh Station. I was not sure at first that it was Dashleigh, 
and in the uncertainty did not get out. Several people were 
on the platform, waiting for the passengers the train might 
bring. One lady in particular attracted my notice, a tall, fair, 
graceful woman, with a sweet countenance. There was some- 
thing in her face that put me in mind of mamma. She was 
looking attentively at the carriages, one after another, when 
her eyes caught mine, and she came to the door. 

" I think you must be Anne," she said, with a bright smile, 
and sweet voice of kindness. " Did you not know I should be 
here ? I am Mrs. Hemson." 

That Mrs. Hemson '. that the ogre with claws my imagination 
had painted ! In my astonishment I never spoke or stirred. 
The guard came up. 

" This is Dashleigh," said ho to me. " Are you come to 
receive this young lady, ma'am ? " 

Mrs. Hemson did receive me, wdth a warm embrace. She 
saw to my luggage, and then put me in a fly to proceed to her 
house. A thorough gentlewoman was she in all ways ; a lady 
in appearance, mind, and manners. But it seemed to me a great 



88 ANNE HEREFORD. 

puzzle how slie could bo so ; or, being so, tliat she could have 
married a retail tradesman. 

Mr. Hemson was a silk-mercer and linendraper. It appeared 
to me a largo, handsome shop, containing many shopmen and 
customers. The fly passed it and stopped at the private door. 
We went through a wide passage and up a handsome staircase, 
into largo and well-furnished sitting-rooms. My impression 
had been that Mrs. Hemson lived in a hovel, or, at the best, in 
some little dark sitting-room behind a shop. Mrs. Jones, who 
kept the little shop where mamma used to buy her things, had 
only a kitchen behind. Upstairs again were the nursery and 
bedrooms, a very large house altogether. There were six 
children, two girls who went to school by day, two boys at a 
boarding-school, and two little ones in the nursery. In the 
yard behind were other rooms, occupied by the young men 
engaged in the business, with whom Mrs. Hemson appeared to 
have nothing whatever to do. 

" This is where you will sleep, Anne," she said, opening the 
door of a chamber which had two beds in it. " Frances and 
Mary sleep here, but they can occupy the same bed whilst you 
stay. Make haste and take your things off, my dear, for dinner 
is ready." 

I soon went down. There was no one in the drawing-room 
then, and I was looking at some of the books on the centre 
table, when a gentleman entered : he was tall, bright, hand- 
some ; a far more gentlemanly man than any I had seen at Mr. 
Edwin Barley's ; more so than even George Heneagc. I 
wondered who he could be. 

" My dear little girl, I am glad you have arrived safely," ho 
said, cordially taking my hand. " It was a long way for them to 
send you alone." 

It was Mr. Hemson. How could they have prejudiced me 
against him, was the first thought that struck me. I had yet 
to learn that people in our Kcppe-Carew class of life estimate 
tradespeople not by themselves but by their callings. The 
appearance of Mrs. Hemson had surprised me ; how much more, 
then, did that of her husband ! Mrs. Jones's husband was a 
little mean man, who carried out the parcels, and was given. 



AT MISS FENTON'S. 89 

people said, to cbeating. Since Selina mentioned Mr. Hcmsou'R 
trade to me, I bad associated the two in my mind. Well- 
educated, good and kind, respected in his native town, and 
making money fast by fair dealing, Mr. Hemsou, to my ignor- 
ance, was a world's wonder. 

" Is she not like Ursula, Frederick ! " exclaimed Mrs. Hem- 
son, holding up my chin. " You remember her V " 

He looked at me with a smile. " I scarcely remember her. 
I don't think Ursula ever had eyes like these. They are worth 
a king's ransom ; and they are honest and true." 

We went into the other room to dinner — a plain dinner of 
roast veal and ham, and a damson tart, all admirably cooked 
and served, with a well-dressed maid-servant to wait upon us. 
Altogether the house seemed thoroughly well conducted ; a 
jileasant, plentiful home, and where they certainly lived as 
quiet gentlepeople, not for show, but for comfort. Mr. Hemson 
went downstairs after dinner, and we returned to the drawing- 
room. 

" Anne," Mrs. Hemson said, smiling at me, " you have ap- 
peared all amazed since you came into the house. What is the 
reason ? " 

I coloured very much ; but she pressed the question. 

" It is — a better house than I expected, ma'am." 

"What! did they prejudice you against me?" she laughed. 
'' Did your mamma do that ? " 

"Mamma told me nothing. It was my Aunt Selina. She 
said you had raised a barrier between — between— " 

" Between myself and the Carews," she interrupted, filling 
uj) the pause. " They say I lost caste in marrying Mr. Hemson. 
And so I did. But — do you like him, Anne ? " 

' Very, very much. He seems quite a gentleman." 

" He is a gentleman in all respects excejjt one ; but that is 
one which people cannot get over, rendering it impossible for 
them to meet him as an equal. Anne, when I became acquainted 
with Mr. Hemson, I ditl not know he was in trade. Not that 
he intentionally deceived me, you must understand ; he is a 
man of nice honour, incapable of deceit ; but it fell out so- 
We were in a strange place, both far away from home, and 



90 ANNE HEREFORD. 

what our relative positions miglit be at liomc never lia2)pened 
to bo alluded to by cither of us. By the time I heard who and 
what he was, a silk-mercer and linendraper, 1 had learnt to 
value him above all else in the world. After that, he asked me 
to be his wife." 

" And you agreed ? " 

" My dear, I first of all sat down and counted the cost. Before 
giving my answer, I calculated which I could best give up, my 
position in society as a gentlewoman and a gentleman's daughter 
of long pedigree, or Frederick Hemson. I knew that constant 
slights — not intentional ones, but what I should feel as such — 
would be my portion if I married him ; that I should descend 
for ever in the scale of society — must leap the great gulf which 
separates the gentlewoman from the tradesman's wife. But I 
believed that I should find my compensation in him : and I 
tried it. I have never repented the step ; I find more certainly, 
year by year, that if I threw away the shadow, I grasped the 
substance." 

" Oh, but surely you are still a gentlewoman ! " 

" My dear, such is not my position : I have placed myself 
beyond the pale of what the world calls society. But I counted 
all tliat beforehand, I tell you, and I put it from me bravely. 
I weighed the cost well ; it has not been more than I bargained 
for, 

" But indeed you are a gentlewoman," I said, earnestly, the 
tears rising to my eyes at what I thought injustice ; " I can see 
you are." 

" Granted, Anne. But what if others do not accord me the 
place ? I cannot visit gentlepeople or be visited by them. I 
am the wife of Mr. Hemson, a retail trader. This is a cathedral 
town, too ; and, in such, the distinctions of society are bowed 
to in an ultra degree." 

" But is it right ? " 

" Quite right ; perfectly right ; as you mil find when you 
are older. If you have been gathering from my words that I 
rebel at existing things, you are in error. The world would 
not get along without its social distinctions, though France 
once had a try at it." 



AT MISS FENTON'S. 91 

" Yes, I know." 

" I repeat, that I sat down and conn ted the cost; and I grow 
more willing to i)ay it year by year. But, Anne dear," and she 
laid her hand impressively on my arm, " I would not recommend 
my plfin of action to others. It has answered in my case, for 
Mr. Ilemson is a man in a thousand ; and I have dug a grave 
and buried my jn-ide ; but in nine cases out of ten it would 
bring unhappiness and repentance. Nothing can be more pro- 
ductive of misery generally, than an imequal marriage." 

I did not quite understand. She had said that she was 
paying off the cost year by year. 

" Yes, Anne. One part of the cost must always remain — a 
weighty incubus. It is not only that I have placed myself 
beyond the pale of my own sphere, but I have entailed it on 
my children. My girls must grow up in the state to which 
they are born : let them be ever so refined, ever so well educated, 
a barrier lies across their path. In visiting, they must be con- 
fined to their father's class ; they can never exi)ect to be sought 
in marriage by gentlemen. Wealthy tradespeople, professional 
men, they may stand a chance of ; but gentlemen, in the strict 
sense of the term, never." 

" Will they feel it ? " 

" No ; oh no. That part of the cost is alone mine. I have 
taken care not to bring them up to views above their father's 
station. There are mom-ents when I wish I had never had 
children. We cannot put away our prejudices entirely, we 
Kepi)e-Carews, you see, Anne," she added, with a light laugh. 

" I don't think any one can," I said, witli a Aviso shake of the 
head. 

" And now, Anne — to change the subject — what were the 
details of that dreadful tragedy at Mr. Edwin Barley's ? " 

" I cannot tell them," I answered, with a rushing colour, 
remembering Mr. Edwin Barley's caution as to secrecy. Mrs. 
Hemson misunderstood the refusal. 

" Poor child ! I sujipose they kept particulars from you : 
and it was right to do so. Could they not save Selina ? " 

" No — for she died. Mr. Edwin Barley says he knows she 
was treated wrongly." 



92 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Ill-fated Selina ! Were you with her when she died, Anne ? " 

" I was with her the night before. We thought she was 
getting better, and she thought it. She had forgotten all about 
the warning, saying it must be a dream," 

" About the what ? " interrupted Mrs. Hemson. 

" While Selina was ill, she saw mamma. She said the Keppc- 
Carews always had these warnings." 

" Child, be silent ! " imperatively spoke Mrs. Hemson. " How 
could they think of imbuing you with their superstitions. It 
is all fancy." 

"Mamma had the same warning, Mrs Hemson. She said 
papa called her." 

" Be quiet, 1 say, child ! " she repeated, in a tone of emotion. 
" These subjects are totally unfit for you. Mind, Anne, that 
you do not allude to them before my little girls ; and forget 
them youi'self." 

" They do not frighten me. But 1 should not speak of them 
to any one but you, Mrs. Hemson." 

" Frances and Mary will be home from school at five, and be 
delighted to make acquaintance with you. You are going to 
school yourself next week. Have you heard that ? " 

" To a school in Dashleigh ? " 

" In the suburbs. The trustees have at length decided it, 
and 1 shall be at hand, in case of illness, or anything of that 
sort. Had your Aunt Selina lived, you would have been placed 
at Nettleby." 

" Where am I to spend the holidays ? " 

" At school. It is to Miss Fenton's that you are going." 

" Is that where Frances and Mary go ? " 

" No," she answered, a smile crossing her lij)S. " They 
would not be admitted to Miss Fenton's " 

" But why ? " 

" Because she professes to take none but gentlemen's 
daughters. My daughters, especially with their father living 
in the same town, would not do at any jjrice. It will be a 
condescension," she laughed, " that Miss Fenton allows you to 
dine with us once in a way " 

" Perhaps she will nut take me," 1 breathlessly said. 



AT MISS FENTON'S. 93 

" My clear, kIic will be only too glad to do bo. You are the 
daughter of Colonel Hereford, the granddaughter of Carew of 
Keppe-Carew." 

And in spite of the lost caste of Mrs. Henison, in sjnte of the 
shop below, I never spent a happier week than the one I spent 
with her. 

And now came school life ; school life that was to continue 
without intermission, and did continue, until I was eighteen 
years of age. Part of these coming years were spent at Miss 
Fenton's ; the rest (as I found afterwards) at a school in France. 
It is very much the custom to cry down French scholastic 
establishments, to contrast them unfavourably with English 
ones. They may deserve the censure ; I do not know ; but I 
can truthfully say that so far as my expei'ience goes, the balance 
is on the other side. 

Miss Fenton's was a " Select Establishment," styling itself 
a first-class one. I have often wondered whether those less 
select, less expensive, were not more liberal in their arrange- 
ments. Foui-teen was the number of girls professed to be 
taken, but never once, during my stay, was the school quite 
full. It had a name ; and there lay the secret of its success. 
The teaching was good ; the girls were brought on well : but 
for the comforts ! You shall hear of them. And I declare 
that I transcribe each account faithfully. 

There were nine pupils at the time I entered : I made the 
tenth. Miss Fenton, an English teacher, a French teacher who 
taught German also, and several day-masters, instructed us. 
Miss Fenton herself took nothing, that I saw, but the music ; 
she was about five-and-thirty, tall, thin, and very jirim. 

" Y^'ou will be well off there, my dear, in regard to living," 
Mrs. Hemson had said to me. " Miss Fenton tells me her 
pupils are treated most liberally ; and that she keeps an excel- 
lent table. Indeed, she ought to do so, considering her terms." 

Of course I thought I shouhl be treated liberally, and enjoy 
the benefits of the excellent table. 

We arrived there just before tea-time, six o'clock. Mrs. 
Hemson, acting for my trustees, had made the negotiations 
with Miss Fenton ; of course she took me to school, stayed a 



94 ANNE HEREFORD. 

few minutes witli Miss Feuton, aud theu left mc. When my 
things were off, and I was back in the drawing-room, Miss 
Fenton rang the bell. 

" You shall join the young ladies at once," she said to me ; 
" they are about to take tea. You have never been to school 
before, I think." 

" No, ma'am. Mamma instructed me." 

" Have the young ladies gone into the refectory ? " Miss 
Fenton inquired, when a maid-servant appeared. 

" I suppose so, ma'am," was the answer. " The bell has been 
rung for them." 

" Desire Miss Liuthorn to step hither." 

Miss Linthorn apjjeared, a scholar of fifteen or sixteen, very 
upright. She made a deep curtsy as she entered. 

" Take this young lady and introduce her," said Miss I'enton. 
" Her name is Hereford." 

We went through some spacious, well-carpeted passages ; the 
corners displaying a chaste statue, or a large plant in beautiful 
bloom ; and thence into some shabby passages, uncarpeted. 
Nothing could be more magnificent (from a moderate middle- 
class point of view) than the show part, the company part of 
Miss Fenton's house ; nothing much more meagre than the rest. 

A long, bare deal table, with the tea-tray at one end ; two 
plates of thick bread-and-butter, and one plate of thinner ; the 
English teacher pouring out the tea, the French one seated by 
her side, and eight girls lower down, that was what 1 saw on 
entering a room that looked cold and comfortless. 

Miss Linthorn, leaving me just inside the door, walked up 
to the teachers and spoke. 

" Miss Hereford. 

" I heard there was a new girl coming in to-day," interrupted 
a young lady, lifting her head, and speaking in a rude, free 
tone. " What's the name, Linthorn ? " 

" Will you have the goodness to behave as a lady — if you 
can. Miss Glynn ? " interrui)ted the English teacher, whose 
name was Dale. " That will be your place. Miss Hereford," 
she added, to me, indicating the end of the form on the left 
side, below the rest. " Have you taken tea ? " 



AV MISS FENTON'S. 95 

" No, ma'am." 

" Qu'elles sont imjiolies, ces filles Auglaiscs ! " said Made- 
moiselle Leduc, the Freneh teacher, with a frowning glance at 
Miss Glynn for her csjiecial benefit. 

" It is the nature of school-girls to be so, mademoiselle," 
pertly responded Miss Glynn. " And I beg to remind yon that 
we are not under your charge when we are out of school in the 
evening ; therefore, whether we are ' impolies ' or ' i^olies/ it is 
no affair of yours." 

Mademoiselle Leduc only half comprehended the Avords ; it 
was as well she did not. ]\Iiss Dale administered a sharp 
reprimand, and passed me my tea. I stirred it, tasted it, and 
stirred it again. 

" Don't you like it ? " asked a laughing girl next to me ; 
Clara Webb, they called her. 

I did not like it at all, and would rather have had milk and 
water. So far as flavour went, it might have been hot water 
coloured, was sweetened with brown sugar, and contained about 
a teaspoonful of milk. I never had any better tea, night or 
morning, as long as I remained ; but school-girls grow used to 
these things. The teachers had a little black teapot to them- 
selves, and their tea looked good. The plate of thin bread- 
and-butter was for them. 

A very handsome girl of seventeen, with haughty eyes and 
still more haughty tones, craned her neck forward and stared 
at me. Some of the rest followed her example. 

" That child has nothing to eat," she observed. " Why don't 
you hand the bread-and-butter to her, Webb ? " 

Clara Webb presented the plate to me. It was so thick, the 
bread, that I hesitated to take it, and the butter was scraped 
upon it in a sparing fashion ; but for my experience at Miss 
Fenton's I should never have thought it possible for butter to 
have been sjjread so thin. The others were eating it with all 
the ajipetite of hunger. The slice was too thick to bite con- 
veniently, so I had to manage as well as I could, listening — 
how could I avoid it? — to a conversation the girls began 
amongst themselves in an undertone. To hear them call each 
other by the surname alone had a strange sound. It was the 



96 ANNE HEREFORD. 

custom of tKc school. The teachers were talking together, 
taking no notice of the girls. 

" Hereford ? Hereford ? " debated the handsome girl, and I 
found her name was Taylor. " I wonder where she comes from ? " 

" I know who I saw her with last Sunday, when I was spend- 
ing the day at home. The Hemsons." 

" What Hemsons ? Who are they ? " 

" Hemsons the linendrapers." 

" Hemsons the linendrapers ! " eclioed an indignant voice, 
whilst I felt my own fiice turn to a glowing crimson. " What 
absurd nonsense you are talking, Glynn ! " 

"I tell you I did. I knew her face again the moment 
Linthorn brought her in. She came to church with them, and 
sat in their pew." 

" I don't believe it," coldly exclaimed an exceedingly ugly 
girl, with a prominent mouth. "As if Miss Teuton would 
admit that class of people ! Glynn is j)laying upon our 
credulity ; just as she did, do you remember, about that affair 
of the prizes. We want some more bread-and-butter. Miss 
Dale — may we ring ? " 

" Yes, if you do want it," replied Miss Dale, turning her face 
from mademoiselle to speak. 

" Betsey, stop a moment, I have something to ask you ! " 
suddenly called out one dressed in mourning, leaping over the 
form and darting after the maid, who had come in and Avas 
departing with the plate in her hand. A whispered colloquy 
ensued at the door, half in, half out of it ; close to me, who 
was seated near it. 

" I say, Betsey ! Do you know who the new pupil is ? " 

" Not exactly, miss. Mrs. Hemson brought her." 

" Mrs. Hemson ! There ! Glynn said so ! Are you sure ? " 

"I am quite sure. Miss Thorpe. Mrs. Hemson has been 
here several times this last week or two ; I knew it was about 
a new pupil. And when she brought her to-night, she gave 
me half-a-crown, and told me to be kind to her. A nice lady 
is Mrs. Hemson as ever I si)oke to." 

" I dare say she may be, for her station," sj)oke Miss Thorpe, 
going back to her seat with a stalk. 



AT Miss FENTON'S. 97 

" I say, girls — I have been asking Betsey — come close." 
And they all drew their heads together. " I thought I'd ask 
Betsey : she says slie does come from the Hemsons. Did you 
ever know such a shame V " 

" It cant he, you know," cried the one with the large mouth. 
" Miss Fenton would not dare to do it. Would my pajja, a 
prebendary of tlie cathedral, allow ine to be placed where I 
could be associated with tradespeople ? " 

" Ask Betsey for yourselves," retot-ted Miss Thorjio. " She 
says it was Mrs. Hemson who brought her to school." 

" Nonsense about asking Betsey," said Nancy Tayler ; " ask 
herself. Come here, child," she added, in a louder tone, 
beckoning to me. 

I went humbly np, buhind the form, feeling very humble 
indeed just then. They were nearly all older than I, and I 
began again to think it must be something sadly lowering to 
be connected with the Hemsons. 

" Are you related to Hemsons, the shopkeepers ? " 

"Yes. To Mrs. Hemson. Mamma was " 

" Oh, there, that will do," she unceremoniously interposed, 
with a scornful gesture. " Go back to your seat, and don't sit 
too close to Miss Webb ; she's a gentleman's daughter." 

My readers, you may be slow to believe this, but I can only 
say that it occurred exactly as written. I returned to my seat, 
a terrible feeling of mortification having passed over my young 
life. 

They never spoke to me again that evening. There was no 
supper, and at half-past eight we went up to bed ; three smallish 
beds were in the room where I was to sleep, and one large one 
with curtains round it. The large one was Miss Dale's, and 
two of us, I found, shared each of the smaller ones ; my bed- 
fellow was Clara Webb. She was a good-humoured girl, more 
careless upon the point of " family " than most of the rest 
seemed to be, and did not openly rebel at having to sleep with 
me. Miss Dale came up for the candle after we were in bed. 

The bell rang at half-past six in the morning, our signal for 
getting up : we had to be down by seven. There were studies 
till eight, and then breakfast — the same wretched tea, and the 

Anne Hereford. 7 



98 ANNE IIEKEFOKD. 

same coarse brcatl-aud-Luttcr. At lialf-past eight Miss Fenton 
read prayers ; and at nine the school business commenced. 

At ten, mademoiselle was assembling her German class. 
Seven only of the pupils learnt it. I rose and went up with 
them : and was rewarded with a stare. 

" What will be the use of German to her f " rudely cried Miss 
Peacock, a tall, stout girl, directing to me all the scorn of 
which a look is capable. " I should not fiincy Miss Heref^d 
is to learn German, Mademoiselle Leduc. It m ly be as welJio 
inquire." 

Mademoiselle Leduc looked at me, hesitated, and then put 
the question to Miss Fenton, her imperfect Englisli soitnding 
through the room, 

" Dis new young lady, is she to learn dc German, madam? " 

Miss Fenton directed her eyes towards us. 

" Miss Hereford ? Yes. Miss* Hereford is to learn every- 
thing taught in my establishment." 

" Oh ! " said Nancy Taylor, sotto voce. " Are you to be a 
governess, pray. Miss Hereford ? " 

A moment's hesitation between pride and truth, and then, 
with a blush of shame in my cheeks for the hesitation, came 
the brave answer. 

" I am to be a governess ; mamma gave the directions in her 
will. "What fortune she left is to be expended upon my educa- 
tion, and she said there might be no better path of life open 
to me." 

" That's candid, at any rate," cried Miss Peacock. And so 
I began German. 

We dined at two ; and I don't suppose but that every girl 
was terribly hungry. I know I was. With a scanty eight- 
o'clock breakfast, children ought not to wait until two for the 
next meal. We had to dress for dinner, which was laid in Miss 
Fenton's dining-room, not in the bare place called the refectory ; 
Miss Fenton dining with us and carving. It was handsomely 
laid. A good deal of silver was on the table, with napkins and 
finger-glasses ; indeed, the style and serving were irreproach- 
able. Two servants waited: Betsey and another. The meat 
was roast bcof — a part of beef I had never 83en ; it seemed 



AT MISS FENTON'S. 99 

a large lump of meat and no bone. Very accei^tablo looked 
it to us hungry scliool-girls. We shall have plenty now, I 
tliought. 

My plate came to me at last ; such a little mite of meat, and 
three large potatoes ! I could well have put the whole piece 
of meat in my mouth at once. Did Miss Fenton fancy I dis- 
liked meat ? But upon looking at the other plates, I saw they 
w^e no better supplied than mine was ; plenty of potatoes, l)ut 
an apology for meat. 

" Would we take more ? " Miss Fenton asked, when we had 
despatched it. And the question was invariably put by her 
every day ; we as invariably answered " Yes." The servants 
took our plates up, and brought them back. I do not believe 
that the whole meat combined, supplied to all the plates in that 
second serving, would have weighed two ounces. Potatoes 
again we had, as much as we liked, and then came a baked rice 
pudding. 

Miss Fenton boasted of her plentiful table. That there was 
a plentiful dinner always placed on the table was indisputable, 
hut we did not have enough of it ; we were starved in the sight 
of plenty. I have seen a leg of mutton leave the table (nay, 
the joints always so left the table), when two hearty eaters 
might well have eaten all that had been cut out of it, and upon 
that the whole thirteen had dined ! I, a woman now, have seen 
much of this stingy, deceitful habit of carving, not only in 
schools, but in some private families. " We keep a plentiful 
table," many, who have to do with the young will say. " Yes," 
I think to myself, " but are those you profess to feed helped to 
enough of it ? " Sometimes, often indeed, two dishes were on 
the table ; we v/ere asked which we would take, but never par- 
took of both. The scanty breakfast, this dinner, and the tea 
I have described, were all the meals we had ; and this was a 
" select," " first-class " establishment, where the terms charged 
were high. Miss Fenton took her supper at eight, alone, and 
the teachers supped at nine in the refectory. Rumours were 
abroad in the school, that these suppers, or at least Miss 
Fentou's, were sumptuous meals. I know we often smelt 
savoury cooking at bedtime. Sometimes we had pudding before 



100 ANNE HEREFORD. 

meat, often we liad cold meat, sometimes liashetl ; often meat 
pies, with a very thick crust over and under. I do not fancy 
Miss Fenton's butcher's bill could have been a heavy one. 
Altogether, it recurs to me now as a fraud : a fraud upon the 
parents, a cruel wrong upon the children. A child who is not 
well nourished, will not possess too much of rude health and 
strength in after-life. 

That was an unhappy day to me ! How I was despised, 
sliglited, scorned, I cannot adequately describe. It became so 
palpable as to attract the attention of the teachers, and in the 
evening they inquired into the cause. Mademoiselle Leduc 
could not by any force of reasoning be brought to comprehend 
it ; she was viuable to understand why I was not as good as the 
rest, and why they should not deem me so ; things are estimated 
so differently in France from what they are in England. 

" Bah ! " said she, slightingly, giving up as useless the trying 
to comprehend, " elles sent folles, ces demoiselles." 

Miss Dale held a colloquy with one or two of the elder girls, 
and then called me up. She began asking me questions about 
my studies, what mamma had taught me, how far I was ad- 
vanced, all in a kind, gentle way ; and she j^arted my hair on 
my forehead, and looked into my eyes. 

" Your mamma was Mrs. Hemson's sister," she said, presently. 

" Not her sister, ma'am ; her cousin." 

" Uer cousin, was it ? " she resumed, after a pause. " What 
was your papa ? I heard Miss Fenton say you were an orjihan." 

" Tapa V " 

" I mean, in what position ? — was he in trade ? " 

" He was an oflficer in Her Majesty's service. Colonel 
Hereford." 

" Colonel Hereford ? " she returned, looking at me as though 
she wondered whether I w\as in error, " Are you sure ? " 

" Quite sure. Miss Dale. Mamma was Miss Carew of Keppe- 
Carew." 

" Miss Carew of KeppG-Carew I " she exclaimed, with a little 
scream of surprise ; for the Keppe-Carews were of note in the 
world. 

" Mrs. Hemson was a Keppe-Carew also," I continued. " She 



AT MISS FENTON'S. 101 

forfeited her position to marry Mr. Hcmsou ; and she says slic 
has not repented it." 

Miss Dale paused ; said she remembered to have heard the 
noise it made when a Miss Carew of Keppe-Carew quitted her 
home for a tradesman's ; but had never known that it rehited 
to Mrs. Hemson. 

" I was a stranger to Dashleigh until I came here as teacher," 
she observed, beckoning up the two young ladies, Miss Tayler 
and Miss Peacock. 

" When next you young ladies take a i^rejudice against a 
new pupil, it may be as well to make sure first of all of your 
grounds," she said to them, her tones sarcastic. " You liave 
been sending this child to ' Coventry ' on the score of her not 
being your equal in point of family ; let me tell you there's not 
one of you in the whole school whose family is fit to tie the 
shoes of hers. She is the daughter of Colonel Hereford, and of 
Miss Carew of Keppe-Carew." 

They looked very blank. Some of the other girls raised 
their heads to listen. Miss Peacock and one or two more — as 
I found afterwards — were only the daughters of merchants ; 
others of professional men. 

" She is related to the Hemsons," spoke Miss Peacock, 
defiantly. " She has acknowledged that she is." 

" If she were related to a chimney-sweeper, that does not take 
her from her own proper position," returned Miss Dale, angrily. 
" Because a member of the Keppe-Carew family chose to forfeit 
her rank and sacrifice herself for Mr. Hemson, is Miss Hereford 
to be made answerable for it ? Go away, you silly girls, and 
don't expose yourselves again." 

The explanation had its weight in the school, and the tide 
set in for me as strenuously as it had been against me. The 
avowal that I was to be a governess appeared to be ignored or 
disbelieved, and the elder girls began a system of patronage. 

" How much money have you brought, little ilnne Here- 
ford?" 

I exhibited my purse and its three half-crowns, all the money 
Mrs. Hemson had allowed me to bring. 

"Seven and si:!{pence ! That's not much, I suppose you 



102 ANNE HEREFORD. 

would wisli to act in accordance with the custom of the 
school ? " 

I intimated that I of course should — if I knew what that was. 

" Well, the rule is for a new girl to give a feast to the rest. 
We have it in the bedroom after Dale has been for the candle. 
Ten shillings has been the sum usually spent — but I suppose 
your three half-crowns must be made sufficient ; you are only a 
little one." 

I wished to myself that they had left me one of the half- 
crowns, but could not for the world have said it. I wrote out 
a list of the articles suggested, and gave the money to one of 
the servants, Betsey, to procure them ; doing all this according 
to directions. Cold beef and ham, rolls and butter, penny pork 
pies, small German sausages, jam tarts, and a bottle of raisin 
wine comprised the list. 

Betsey smuggled the things in, and conveyed them to the 
play-room. Strict orders meanwhile being given to me to say 
that I brought them to school in my box, should the affair, by 
mischance, be found out. It would be so cruel to get Betsey 
turned out of her place, they observed ; but they had held many 
such treats, and never been found out yet. 

Miss Dale came as usual for the candle that night, and took 
it. For a few minutes we lay still as mice, and then sprang up 
and admitted the rest from their bedroom. Half-a-dozen wax 
tapers were lighted, abstracted from the girls' private writing- 
desks, and half-a-dozen more were in readiness to be lighted, 
should the first not hold out. And the feast began. 

" Now, Anne Hereford, it's your treat, so of com-se you are 
the one to wait upon us. You must go to the decanter for 
water when we want it, and listen at the door against eaves- 
droppers, and deal out the rolls. By the way, how many knives 
have come up ? Look, Peacock." 

" There's only one. One knife and two plates. Well, we'll 
make the counterpane or our hands do for plates." 

" Our hands will be best, and then we can lick up the crumbs. 
Is the corkscrew there ? Who'll draw the cork of the wine ? " 

" Hush ! don't talk so loud ; they are hardly at supper yet 
downstairs," interposed Miss Tayler, who was the oldest girl 



AT MISS FENTOX'S. 103 

in the school. "Now, mind! we'll have no disputing about 
what shall be oaten first, as we had last time ; it shall be served 
regularly. Beef and ham to begin with : i)ork pies and sausages 
next ; jam tarts last ; rolls and butter ad libitum ; water with 
the feast, and the wine to finish up with. That's the order of 
the day, and if any girl's not satisfied with it, she can retire to 
bed, which will leave the more for us who are. You see that 
washhand-stand, little Hereford ? Take the water-bottles there, 
and pour out as we Avant it ; and put a taper near, or you may 
be giving yourself a bath. Now then, I'll be carver." 

She cut the ham into ten portions, the beef likewise, and 
told me to give round a roll. Then the rolls were cut open 
and buttered, various devices being improvised for the latter 
necessity, by those who could not wait their turn for the knife ; 
tooth-brush handles prevailing, and fingers not being altogether 
absent. Next came the delightful business of eating. 

" Some water, little Hereford." 

I obeyed, though it was just as I v.as about to take the first 
mouthful of tlie feast. Laying down my share on the counter- 
pane, I brought the tumbler of water. 

" And now, Hereford, you must listen at the door." 

" If you please, may I take this with me ? " for I had once 
more caught up the tantalizing supper. 

" Of course you can, little stupid ! " 

I went to the door, the beef and ham doubled up in one 
hand, the buttered roll in the other, and there ate and listened. 
The scene would have made a good picture. The distant bed 
on which the eatables were flung, and on which the tajicrs in 
their little bronze stands rested, and the girls in their night- 
gowns gathered round, half lounging on it, talking eagerly, 
eating ravenously, enjoying themselves thoroughly ; I shivering 
at the door, delighted with the feast, but half-terrified lest 
interruption should come from below. That unlucky door had 
no fastening to it, so that any one could come, as the girls 
expressed it, bolt in. Some time previously there had been a 
disturbance, because the girls one night locked out Miss Dale, 
upon which Miss Fenton had carried away the key. 

" Our beef and ham's gone, Anne Hereford. Is yours ? " 



104 ANNE HEREFORD. 

It was Georglua Digges who siwke, and she half-turned 
round to do so, for she was leaning forward on the bed with her 
back to rae. I was about to answer, when there came a shrill 
scream from one of the others ; a scream of terror. It was 
followed by another and another, lentil they were all screaming 
together, and I darted in alarm to the bed. Georgina Digges, 
in turning round, had let her night-gown sleeve touch one of the 
wax tapers, and set it on fire. 

Confusion ensued! the shrieks rising and the flames with 
them. With a presence ©f mind perfectly astonishing in one 
so young, Nancy Tayler tore up the bedside carpet and flung 
it round her. 

" Throw her down, throw her down ! it is the only chance ! " 
Nancy screamed to the rest, and there she was on the ground 
by the time those downstairs had rushed up. Some smothered 
more carpet on her, some threw a blanket, and the cook further 
poured out all the water from the washing jugs. 

"Who is it?" demanded Miss Fenton, speaking and looking 
more dead than alive. 

None of us answered ; we were too terrified ; but Miss Dale, 
who had been taking hurried note of our faces, said it must be 
Georgina Digges : her face was the only one missing. 

I wonder what Miss Fenton thought when she saw the items 
of the feast as they lay on the bed ! The scanty remains of the 
beef and ham, the buttered rolls half eaten, others ready to be 
buttered, the pork pies, the German sausages, the jam tarts, and 
the bottle of wine. Did a thought cross her that if the girls 
had been allowed better dinners, they might have been less 
eager for stolen sui)pers '? She had probably been disturbed at 
her excellent supper, for a table najikin was tucked before her, 
underneath the string of her silk apron. 

" You deceitful, rebellious girls ! " exclaimed Miss Fenton. 
" Who has been the ringleader in this ? " 

A pause, and then a voice spoke from amidst the huddled 
grouj) of girls^jt'/wse voice I did not know tlien and have never 
known to tliis day. 

" Tlie new girl, Anno Hereford. She brought the things to 
school in her box." 



EMILY CIIANDOS. 105 

Miss Fenton looked round for mc : I was standing quite at 
the back. I had not courage to contradict the words. But just 
then a commotion arose from the group which stood round the 
burnt girl, and Miss Fenton turned to it in her sickening fear. 

The doctors came, and we were consigned to bed, Georgina 
Digges being taken into another room. Happily, she was found 
not to be dangerously burnt, badly on the arm und shoulder, 
but no further. 

Of course there was great trouble in the morning. Mrs. 
Hemson was sent for, and to her I told the truth, which I had 
not dared to tell to Miss Fenton. The two ladies had after- 
wards an interview alone, in which I felt sure Mrs. Hemson 
repeated every word I had spoken. Nothing more was said to 
me. Miss Fenton made a speech in the school, beginning with 
a reproach at their taking a young child's money from her, and 
going on to the enormity of our offence in " sitting up at night 
to gormandize " (apologizing for the broad word), which she 
forbade absolutely for the future. 

Thus the affair ended. Georgina Digges recovered, and 
joined us in the schoolroom : and she was not taken away, 
though we had thought she would be. But, in spite of the 
accident and Miss Fenton's prohibition, the feasts at night did 
go on, as often as a new girl came to be made to furnish one, 
or wlieu the school subscribed a shilling each, and constituted 
it a joint affair. One little wax taper did duty in future, and 
that was placed on the mantelpiece, out of harm's way. 

And that is all I shall have to say of my school'life in 
England. 



CHAPTER yill. 

EMILY CIIANDOS. 



In the grey dawn of an August morning, I stood on a steamer 
that was about to clear out from alongside one of the wharves 
near Loudon Bridge. It was bound for a seaport town in 
Fi'ance. Scarcely down yet, the night-clouds still hung upon 



106 ANNE HEREFORD. 

the earth, but light was breaking in the eastern horizon. The 
passengers were coming on board — not many ; it did not api)ear 
that the boat would have much of a freight that day. I heard 
one of the seamen say so ; I knew nothing about it ; and the 
scene was as new to me as the world is to a bird, flying for the 
first time from a cage where it has been hatched and reared. 

I was fifteen, and had left Miss Fenton's for good ; thoroughly 
well-educated, so far. And now they were sending me to a 
school in France to finish. 

I will not say precisely where this school was situated : there 
are reasons against it ; but what little record I give of the 
establishment shall be true and faithful. It was not at Boulogne 
or at Calais, those renowned seaports, inundated with Anglo- 
French schools ; neither was it in Paris or Brussels, or at 
Dieppe. We will call the town Nulle, and that's near enough. 
It was kept by two ladies, sisters, the Demoiselles Barlicu. The 
negotiations had been made by my trustees, and Mrs. Hemson 
had brought me to London, down to the steamer on this early 
morning, and was now consigning me to the care of Miss 
Barlieu's English governess, whom we had met there by ap- 
pointment. She was a very plain young person, carrying no 
authority in appearance, and looking not much like a lady. 
Authority, as I found, she would have little in the school ; she 
was engaged to teach English, and there her duties ended. 

" You had better secure a berth and lie down," she said to 
me. " The night has been cold, and it is scarcely light enough 
yet to be on deck." 

" Any ladies for shore ? " cried a rough voice at the cabin 
door. 

" Shore ! " echoed Miss Johnstone, in what seemed alarm. 
"You are surely not going to start yet! I am waiting for 
another young lady." 

" It won't be more than five minutes now, mum." 

«A pupil?" I asked her. 

"I believe so. Mademoiselle Barlieu wrote to me that 
two " 

" Any lady here of the name of Johnstone ? " 

The inquiry came from a middle-aged, quiet-looking person, 



EMILY CHANDOS. 107 

who was glancing in at tlie cabin door. By her side stood a 
moHt elegant girl of seventeen, i^erhaps eighteen, her eyes blue, 
her face brilliantly fair, her dress handsome. 

" I am Miss Johnstone," said the teacher, advancing. 

" What a relief ! The steward thought no governess had 
come on board, and I must not have dared to send Miss Chandos 
alone. My lady " 

" You would, Hill ; so don't talk nonsense," interrupted the 
young lady, with a laugh, as she threw up her white veil, and 
brought her beauty right underneath the cabin lamp. " Would 
the fishes have swallowed me up any the quicker for not being 
in some one's charge ? Unfasten my cloak. Hill." 

" This young lady is Miss Chandos, ma'am," said the person 
addressed as Hill, presenting the beautiful girl to Miss John- 
stone. " Please take every care of her in going across." 

The young lady wheeled round. " Are you our new English 
teacher ? " 

" I am engaged as English governess at Mademoiselle 
Barlieu's," rej)lied Miss Johnstone, who had not at all a pleasant 
manner of sj)eaking. " She wrote me word that I might expect 
Miss Chandos and Miss Hereford on board." 

" Miss Hereford ! " was the quick reponse. " Who is she ? " 

But by that time I was lying down in the berth, and the 
rough voice again interrupted. 

"Any lady as is for shore had better look sharp, unless 
they'd like to be took off to t'other side the Channel." 

" What fun. Hill, if they should take you off," laughed Miss 
Chandos, as the former started up with trej^idation. " Now, 
don't stumble overboard in your haste to get off the boat." 

" Good-bye to you. Miss Emily, and a jjleasant journey ! 
You won't fail to write as soon as you arrive : my lady will be 
anxious." 

" Oh, I will gladden mamma's heart with a letter, or she may 
he thinking the bottom of the steamer has come out," lightly 
returned Miss Chandos. " Mind, Hill, that you give my love to 
Mr. Harry when he gets home." 

Those who were for shore went on shore, and soon we were 
in all the bustle and noise of departure. Miss Chandos 



108 ANNE HEREFORD. 

stood by the small round table, looking in the hanging-glass, 
and turning her gleaming golden ringlets round her fingers. 
On one of those fingers was a ring, its fine large stones forming 
a heart's-ease : two were yellow topaz, the other three dark 
amethyst : the whole beautiful. 

" May I suggest that you should lie down, Miss Chandos ? " 
said our governess for the time being. " Yoxi will find the 
benefit of doing so." 

" Have you crossed the Channel many times ? " was the reply 
of Miss Chandos, as she coolly jiroceeded with her hair : and her 
tone to Miss Johnstone was a patronizing one. 

" Only twice ; to France and home again." 

" And I have crossed it a dozen times at least, between 
school and Continental voyages with mamma, so you cannot 
teach me much in that respect. I can assure you there's 
nothing more disagreeable than to be " stewed in one of these 
suftbcating berths. When we leave the river, should it prove 
a rough sea, well and good, but I don't put myself into a berth 
until then." 

" Have you been long with the Miss Barlieus ? " inquired 
Miss Johnstone of her. 

" Two dismal years. But I have outlived the dismality now 
— if you will allow me to coin a word. Mamma has known the 
Barlieus all her life : an aunt of theirs was her governess when 
she was young ; and when we were returning home from Italy, 
mamma went to the place and left me there, instead of taking 
me on to England. Was I not rebellious over it ! for three 
months I planned, every day, to run away on the next." 

" But you did not ? " I spoke up from my berth, greatly 
interested. 

Miss Chandos turned roimd and looked at me. " No," she 
laughed, " it was never accomplished. I believe tlie chief 
impediment was, not knowing where to run to. Are you Miss 
Hereford ? " 
" Yes." 

" What a bit of a child you seem ! You won't like a French 
school, if this is your first entrance into one. Home comforts 
and Frencli schools are as far apart as the two poles." 



EMILY CHANDOS. 109 

*' But 1 ain not accustomed to Lome comforts ; I have no 
home. I have been for some years at an English scliool, where 
there was little comfort of any sort. Do your friends live in 
England ? Have you a home there ? " 

" A home in England ! " she answered, with some surprise at 
the question, or at my ignorance. " Of course : I am Miss 
( !handos. Chandos is mamma's present residence ; though 
strictly speaking, it belongs to Sir Thomas." 

All this was so much Greek to me. Perhaps Miss Chandos 
saw that it was, for she laughed gaily. 

" Sir Thomas Chandos is my brother. Harry is the other 
one. We thought Tom would have retired from the army and 
come home when papa died, two or three years ago ; but he 
still remains in India. Mamma writes him word that he should 
come home and marry, and so make himself into a respectable 
man ; ho sends word back that he is respectable enough as 
it is." 

" Your papa was ? " 

" Sir Thomas Chandos. Ah, dear ! if he had only lived ! 
He was so kind to us ! Mamma is in widow's weeds yet, and 
always will be." 

" And who was she who brought you on board ? " 

" Hill. She is the housekeeper at Chandos. Some one has 
always taken me over until this time, generally Harry. But 
Harry is away, and Miss Barlieu wrote word to mamma that 
the English governess could bring me, so Hill was despatched 
with me to town." 

" What a beautiful ring I " I exclaimed, as the stones flashed 
in the lamp-light. 

Her eyes fell upon it, and a blush and a smile rose to her 
face. She sat doAvn on the edge of my berth, and twirled it 
over with the fingers of her other hand. 

" Yes, it is a nice ring. Let any one attempt to give me a 
ring that is not a nice one ; they would get it flung back at 
them." 

" Is Mademoiselle Barlieu's a large school ? " 

" Middling. There were seventy-five last trimestre." 

" Seventy-five 1 " I repeated, amazed at the number. 



110 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" That includes tlio cxternes — nearly fifty of them— with 
whom we have nothing to do. There are three class-rooms : 
one for the elder girls, one for the younger, and the third (the 
size almost of the large hall at the Tribunal of Commerce) for 
the externes." 

" Are there many teachers ? " 

" Six, including the English governess and the two Miss Bar- 
licus ; and six masters, who are in almost constant attendance." 

" Altogether, do you like being there ? " 

" Yes," she said, laughing significantly ; " I like it very well 
noio. I am going on deck to watch the day break ; so adieu for 
the present." 

Wc had a rough passage ; of which I cannot think to thi3 
day without — without wishing not to think of it ; and late in 
the afternoon the steamer was made fast to the jiort it was 
bound for. In the midst of the bustle preparatory to landing, 
a gentleman, young, vain, and good-looking, leajied on board, 
braving the douaniers, who were too late to prevent him, and 
warmly greeted Miss Chandos. 

" My dear Emily ! " 

" Speak in French, Alfred," she said, taking the initiative 
and addressing him in that language — her damask cheeks, her 
dimples, and her dancing eyes all lovely. " I have not come 
alone, as I thought I should. A duenna, in the shape of the 
English governess, has charge of me." 

" Miss Chandos, the men are calling out that wc must land." 

The interruption came from Miss Johnstone, who had 
approached, looking keenly at the gentleman. The latter, with 
scant courtesy to the governess, made no reply : he was too 
much occupied in assisting Miss Chandos uj) the landing-steps. 
Miss Chandos turned her head when she reached the toj). 

" Be so good as to look in the cabin. Miss Johnstone ; I have 
left a hundred things there, odds and ends. My warm cloak is 
somewhere." 

Miss Johnstone appeared anything but pleased. It is not 
usual for pu2:)ils to order their teachers to look after their 
things ; and Miss Chandos was somewhat imperious in manner : 
not purposely : it was her nature to be so. I turned with Miss 



EMILY CHANDOS. Ill 

Jolinstone, aud we collected togetlier tlie items left by Miss 
Chandos. By the time we reached the custom-house, she had 
disai)peared. Twenty minutes after, when we and our luggage 
had been examined, we found her outside, walking to and fro 
with the gentleman. 

" Where arc yoiu- boxes, Miss Chandos '? " asked Miss 
Johnstone. 

" My boxes ? I don't know anything about them. I gave 
my keys to one of the commissionaires ; he will see to them. 
Or you can, if you like." 

" I do not imagine that it is my business to do so," was Miss 
Johnstone's offended reply. But Miss Chandos was again 
walking with her comjianiou, and paid no heed to her. 

" Halloa, de Mellissie ! have you been to England ? " inquired 
a i^assing Englishman of Miss Chandos's friend, 

" Not I," he replied. " I stepped on board the boat when it 
came in, so they took their revenge by making me go through 
the custom-house and turning my jiockets inside out. Much 
good it did them." 

An omnibus was waiting round the corner, in which we 
were finally to be conveyed to our destination, Mademoiselle 
Barlieu's. Seated in it was a little, stout, good-temjiered dame 
of fifty. Mademoiselle Caroline, the senior teacher. She 
received Miss Chandos with ojien arms, and a kiss on each 
cheek. The gentleman politely handed us by turn into the 
omnibus, and stood bowing to us, bareheaded, as we drove away. 

" Do you think him handsome ? " Miss Chandos whispered to 
me, the glow on her face fading. 

" Pretty well. What is his name ? " 

"Alfred de Mellissie* You can be good-natured, can't 
you ? " she added. 

" I can, if I like." 

" Then be so now, and don't preach it out to the whole school 
that he met me. He " 

"Is that gentleman a relative of yours. Miss Chandos?" 
interrupted Miss Johnstone from the end of the omnibus. 

Miss Chandos did not like the tone or the question : the one 
savoured of acrimony, the other she resented as impertinent. 



112 ANNE HEREFORD. 

She fixed her haughty blue eyes on Miss Johnstoue before she 
answered : they said very plainly : " By what right do you 
presume to inquire of me V " And Miss Johnstone bit her lips 
at the look. 

" They are not related to us. Madame de Mellissie is an 
intimate friend of my mother, Lady Chandos." And that was 
all she condescended to say, for she turned her back and began 
laughing and chattering in French with Mademoiselle Caroline. 

The Miss Barlieus received us graciously, giving us all the 
same friendly greeting that the old teacher had given only to 
Miss Chandos. Two pleasant, kind-hearted maiden ladies 
were they, not very young. Miss Annette confessed to having 
passed thirty-five. We were their visitors that evening, and 
were regaled with nice things in their own parlour. 

I said I would relate the mode of treatment in that school. 
It was a superior establishment, the terms high for France; 
but they were not much more than half the amount of Miss 
Tenton's. Here they included the month's holiday in autumn. 
At Miss Fenton's the holidays were three months in the year ; 
and if you stayed (as I did), extra fees had to be paid. 

The dormitories were spacious and airy, a small, separate 
bed being given to each pupil. No French school can be 
overcrowded, for they are under the close inspection of the 
Government ; and the number of pupils to be taken is registered. 
A large airy room is set apart as an infirmary, should any 
fall ill. 

Clang ! clang ! clang ! went the great bell in the morning, 
waking us out of our sleep at six. Dressing, practising, 
lessons, and prayers, occupied the time until eight. Miss 
Johnstone read prayers to the English pupils, all Protestants ; 
Mademoiselle Caroline read them to the French, who were 
Roman Catholics. For breakfast there was as much bread- 
and-butter as we liked to eat, and a small basin each of rich 
milk. Some of the English girls chose tea in preference, 
which they were at liberty to do. On Sunday mornings, break- 
fast was a treat : cofi"ee and i^elils pahis, a sort of roll. Wo had 
them hot, two each, and a small pat of butter. Such coffee as 
that we never get in England : one-third coffee, two-thirds hot 



EMILY CHANDOS. 113 

milk, and strong even then. Breakfast over (t;j go back to the week 
days), we jjlayeil until nine, and then came studies imtil twelve. 

The professed dinner-hour was half-past twelve, but the 
cook rarely sent it in before a quarter to one. We all dined 
together with Miss Barlieu and Miss Annette, at two long 
tables. I remember the dinner, that first day, as well as 
though I had eaten it yesterday. A plateful of soup first, very 
poor, as all French soup is ; after that the bouilli, the meat 
that the soup is made of. The English at first never like this 
bouilli, but in time they learn to know how good it is, eaten 
with the French piquante mustard. Sometimes carrots were 
served with the bouilli, sometimes small pickled cucumbers : 
this day we had cucumbers. Remembering Miss Fenton's, I 
wondered if that comprised the dinner. And, talking of Miss 
Fenton's, I have never mentioned that in her house we were 
not allowed bread at dinner ; here, if we could have eaten a 
whole loaf, we might have had it. 

It did not comprise the dinner. There came on some 
delicious roast veal and potatoes ; and afterwards fried pan- 
cakes, with sugar. On Simdays we sometimes had poultry, 
always a second dish of vegetables, and a fruit or cream tart. 
The beverage was the same as at Miss Fenton's — beer or water, 
as might be preferred. Four or five of the girls had wine ; 
but it was either sujiplied by the jiarents, or paid for as an 
extra. It was commonly reported that in some other schools, 
in the colleges especially, the soup, the bouilli, bread and 
potatoes, comprised the dinner every day, with a roast joint in 
addition on Sundays. 

At two o'clock came school again until four, when we were 
released for half-an-hour, and each had a slice of bread-ajid- 
butter, called collation. Then school again imtil six, and supper 
at seven. The suppers varied ; meat was never served, but 
vegetables were often : sometimes bread-and-cheese and salad ; 
or bread-and-butter, with an egg, or with shrimps, or fried 
potatoes ; and tea. I think this was a more sensible mode of 
living than Miss Fenton's. Altogether I can truly say that we 
exjierienced liberality and kindness at Miss Barlieu's ; it was 
a far better home than the other. 

Anne Hereford. 8 



114 ANNE HEREFORD. 

But I have not got over the first day yet. In assorting her 
clothes after unjmcking, Miss Chantlos missed a new velvet 
mantle ; there was some commotion about it, and she was told 
that she ought to have watched more narrowly the examination 
of her trunks in the custom-house. Miss Chandos took the loss 
c(|uably, as she appeared to do most things. " Oh, if it's lost, 
mamma must send me over another," was her careless comment. 

We were at our studies in the afternoon when Mademoiselle 
Annette entered. The mode of sitting was different here from 
what it had been at Miss Fcnton's. There, we sat on a hard 
form for hours together without any supj^ort for the arms or 
back : stooping was the inevitable conseqvtcnce, and many of 
the girls contracted a curve of the spine ; or, as the saying ran, 
" grew aside." In France we sat at a sloj)ing desk, on which 
our arms rested, so that the spine could not grow fatigued. I 
never once, the whole period I stayed at Miss Barlieu's, saw 
a crooked girl. Mademoiselle Annette entered and accosted 
Miss Chandos. 

" I understand, Miss Chandos, that you did not take any care 
of your boxes yourself at the custom-house ; merely gave up 
your keys ? " 

A slight accession of colour, and Miss Chandos turned round 
her fair bright face, acknowledging that it was so. 

" But, my dear, that was evincing great carelessness." 

" I don't see it, Mademoiselle Annette," was Miss Chandos's 
smiling dissent. " What are the commissionaires for, but to 
take charge of keys and examine baggage?" 

" Well ; they have been uj? from the customs to say that the 
mantle was not left there. The commissionaire himself is here 
now ; he says everything taken out of your boxes was safely 
put in again." 

"It was a beautiful mantle, Mademoiselle Annette, and I 
dare say some one caught it up and ran off with it when the 
man's attention was turned the other way. ' It can't be helped : 
there are worse misfortunes at sea." 

" What gentleman was it that you were walking about with ? " 
resumed Mademoiselle Annette. 

»' Gentleman ? " returned Miss Chandos, in questioning tones, 



EMILY CHANDOS, 115 

as if she coiilcl not understand, or did not remember. " Gentle- 
man, Mademoiselle Annette ? " 

I " A gentleman who came on board to speak to you ; and who 
assisted you to land : and with whom you were walking about 
afterwards, whilst the other ladies were in the custom-house ? " 

" Oh, I recollect ; yes. There was a gentleman who came 
on board : it was Monsieur de Mellissie." Very brilliant had 
Miss Chandos's cheeks become ; but she turned her face to the 
desk as if anxious to continue her studies, and Mademoiselle 
Barlieu saw it not. 

" What took him on board ? " reaumed Mademoiselle Annette. 

" As if I knew, Mademoiselle Annette ! " lightly replied the 
young lady. " He may have wanted to speak to the captain — 
or to some of the sailors — or to me. He did not tell me." 

" But you were promenading with him afterwards ! " 

" And very polite of him it was to give up his time to me, 
whilst I was waiting for them to come out," replied Miss 
Chandos. " I returned him my thanks for it, Mademoiselle 
Annette. If the new English teacher had had a thousand boxes 
to clear, she could not have been much longer over it. I 
thought she was never coming." 

" Well, my dear, do not promenade again with Monsieur de 
Mellissie. It is not the right thing for a young lady to do ; 
and Miladi Chandos might not be pleased that you should." 

" On the contrary. Mademoiselle Annette, mamma charged 
me with twenty messages to give him, in trust for his mother," 
replied the undaunted girl. " I was glad of an opportunity of 
delivering them." 

Mademoiselle Annette said no more. She charged the girls 
as she quitted the room to jirejiare their gcograi^hy books, fur 
she should return for that class in five minutes. 

" I say, Emily Chandos, whatever is all that about ? " asked 
a young lady, Ellen Roper. 

" I don't care ! It's that new English teacher who has been 
reporting ! Alfred jumped on board as soon as we touched the 
side, and I stayed with him until the omnibus was ready — or 
until we were ready for the omnibus. Where v/as the harm ? 
You did not tell, Anne Hereford ? " 



116 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" I have not spoken of it to any one." 

" No ; I was sure of that : it's that precious teacher. I did 
not like her before, but for this I'll give her all the trouble 
I can at my English lessons. Such folly for Mademoiselle 
Barlieu to engage a girl as governess ; and she's no better. 1 
could teach her. She's not nice, either; you can't like or 
resjject her." 

"I think the Miss Barlieus were surprised when they saw 
her," observed Ellen Eoper. " Mademoiselle Annette asked 
her this morning if she were really twenty-one. So that is the 
age she must have represented herself to be in writing to them." 

In the course of a day or two Emily Chandos received a 
letter from home. Lady Chandos had discovered that the velvet 
mantle, by some unaccountable miscliance, had not been put 
into the boxes. She would forward it to Nulle. 

The De Mellissies were staying in the town. Madame de 
Mellissie, the mother, an English lady by birth, had been inti- 
mate with Lady Chandos in early life ; they were good fi'iends 
still. Her son, and only child. Monsieur Alfred de Mellissie, 
chief of the family now, in place of his dead father, appeared to 
make it the whole business of his life to admire Emily Chandos. 
The school commented on it. 

" It can never lead to anything," they said. " He is only a 
Frenchman of comme-(^a femily, and she is Miss Chandos of 
Chandos." 

And— being Miss Chandos of Chandos — it occurred to me to 
wonder that she should be at that French school. Not but that 
it was one of the first to be found in France ; but scarcely the 
place for Miss Chandos. 

I said as much — talking one day with Mademoiselle Annette, 
when I was by her, drawing. 

" My dear, Emily Chandos, though one of the most charming 
and lovable girls ever seen, is inclined to be wild ; and Miladi 
Chandos thinks the discipline of a school good for her," was the 
answer. " They do not care to have a governess residing at 
Chandos." 

" But why, mademoiselle '? " 

Mademoiselle Annette shook her head mysteriously. "I 



KAIILY CIlANDOf^. 117 

know not. Miladi said it to mo. 81ie is iiltered tornbly. There 
is alw.ays a cloud hanging over Chandos. Go on with your 
sketch, my dear : young h\dies shoukl not be curious." 

One of the first questions put to me by the girls was — were 
any names given in for my visiting. I did not understand the 
question. We elder ones were seated at the table, doing 
German exercises— or pretending to do them. Miss Barlieu 
had found me so well advanced, that I was put in the first 
classes for every study. Ellen Roi)er saw I looked puzzled, 
and explained. 

" When a pupil is placed at school in France, her friends 
give in the names of the fiimilies where she may visit, and the 
governess writes them down. It is not a bad custom." 

" It is a miserable custom, Ellen Roper," retorted Miss 
Chandos. " When the Stai)letons were passing through Nulle 
last spring, they invited me to the hotel for a day, and 
Mademoiselle Barlieu put her veto uj)on it, because their name 
had not been given in by mamma. Lady Stapleton came and 
expostulated ; said her husband. Sir Gregory, was the oldest 
friend possible of the late Sir Thomas Chandos, had been for 
years, and that they would take every imaginable care of me, 
and she knew Lady Chandos would wish me to go. Not a bit 
of it ; you might as well have tried to move the house as to 
move Mademoiselle Barlieu. Miladi Chandos had not given 
her the name, she said, and she could not dej)art from the usual 
custom. Don't you remember what a passion I was in ? Cried 
my eyes out, and would not do a single devoir. Anne Here- 
ford, you can write home and ask them to give in some names to 
Miss Barlieu." 

Home ! What home had I to write to ? 



118 ANNE HEREFORD. 

CHAPTER IX. 

AN IIIREVOCABLE STEP. 

There was war botween tlie English governess and Emily 
Cliandos. Emily was excessively popular; with her beauty, 
her gaiety, and her generous wilfulness ; she did nearly what 
she liked in the school — except of course with the Miss 
Barlieus. For myself, I had learnt to love her. She had her 
faults— what girl is without them ? She was vain, petulant, 
haughty when disj)leased, and a little selfish. But she possessed 
one great gift of attraction— that of taking hearts by storm. 
Miss Johnstone began with a mistake : striving to put down 
Miss Chaudos. She was over-strict besides with her lessons 
and exercises; and more than once reported her to Miss 
Annette for some trifling fault, magniiied by her into a grave 
one. The girls espoused Emily's cause ; and Miss Johnstone 
grew to be regarded, and also treated, with contempt. It vexed 
her greatly ; and there were other things. 

Her name was Margaret. But she had incautiously left an 
open letter about, in which she was repeatedly called " Peg." 
Of course that was quite enough for the girls, and they took to 
calling her Peg, almost in her hearing. A new English pupil, 
who entered as weekly boarder, went up at the English dicta- 
tion and addressed her as " Miss Pegg," believing it to be her 
real name. You should have seen Miss Johnstone's dark and 
angry ftice, and the dancing eyes of Emily Chaudos. 

Madame de Mellissie had left for Paris ; but her son, 
Monsieur Alfred, remained at Nullc — his attraction being, as 
the girls said openly, Emily Chandos. Emily laughed as she 
listened : but denial she made none. They said another thino- 
— that the beautiful heart's-easo ring she wore had been his love- 
gift : and still there was no express denial. " Have it so, if you 
like," was all Emily said. 

" She cannot think seriouslij of him, you know," Ellen Eoper 
observed one day. " It is a match that could never be allowed 
by her family. He is quite a second-rate sort of Frenchman, 



AN IRREVOCABLE STEP 119 

and she is Miss Chandos of Chandos. He is a bit of a jacka- 
napes too, vain and silly." 

" Ellen Roper, I am within hearing, I beg to inform you," 
said Miss Chandos, from half-way up the desk, her face in a 
lovely glow. 

" That is just why I said it," returned Ellen Eoper, Avho, 
however, had not known Emily was near, and started at the 
sound of her voice. " I dare say he has not above a thousand 
pounds or two a-year ; a very fair patrimony for a Frenchman, 
you know ; but only fancy it for one in the position of Miss 
Chandos." 

" Go on, Ellen Roper ! I'll tell something of you by- 
and-by." 

" And, setting aside everything else, there's another great 
barrier," went on Ellen Roper, making very strong objections 
in her spirit of mischief. " The De Mellissies are Roman 
Catholics ; cela va, you know ; while the Chandoses are staunch 
Conservative Protestants. Lady Chandos would almost as soon 
give Emily to the Grand Turk as to Alfred de Mellissie." 

A soi't of movement at the desk, and we looked round. 
Quietly seated on the low chair in the corner, her ears drink- 
ing in all, for we had been speaking in English, was Miss 
Johnstone. Had she been there all the time ? Emily Chaudos's 
bright cheek paled a little, as if there had fallen upon her a 
foreshadowing of evil. 

I do not know that it would have come, but that circum- 
stances worked for it. On this afternoon, this very same after- 
noon as we sat there, Emily was called out of the room by one 
of the maids, who said Mrs. Trehern had called to see her. 

" Trehern ? — Trehern ? " cried Emily, as she vrent. " I don't 
know the name from Adam." 

Back she soon came with a radiant face, and presented her- 
self to Mademoiselle Annette, who was in class. 

" Oh, mademoiselle, some friends are here, and they wish me 
to go out with them. Will you give me permission ? It is 
Mr. and Mrs. Trehern." 

" Trehern ? Trehern ? " repeated Mademoiselle Annette. " I 
don't remember that name on your visiting list." 



120 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Emily knew quite well it was not tliere, since tliis was the 
first time she had seen either of the parties : but she had trusted 
to the good luck of Mademoiselle Annette's believing that it 
was. 

" Mamma will be so vexed if I do not go. She is very inti- 
mate with the Treherns. They have only just arrived in the 
town, mademoiselle, and have descended at the Hotel du Lion 
d'Or." 

Which concluding words gave us the clue to Emily's eager- 
ness for the visit. For it was at that renowned hotel that Mr. 
Alfred de Mellissie had been sojourning since his mother's 
departure. Mademoiselle Annette was firm. 

" You know the rules of the school, my dear. We have 
heard nothing of these gentlepeople from your mamma, and it 
is impossible that you can be allowed to go." 

Emily Chandos carried back her excuses to the salon, and 
after school gave vent to her mortification in a private outburst 
to us. 

" Such a dreadful shame, these horrid French rules ! As if 
the Treherns would have poisoned me ! But I despatch a 
letter to mamma to-night to get permission. They are going 
to stay a month at Nulle. It is the bridal tour." 

" Have they just come from England ? " 

" Not at all. She is French, and never was in England in 
her life. She is a friend "—dropping her voice still lower — 
" of the De Mellissies ; at least her mother is : it was through 
Alfred they called Ui)on me to-day." 

" Then does Lady Chandos not know them ? " 

" She knows him. It is a Cornish family. This one, young 
Trehern, fell in love with a French girl, and has married her. 
They were married last Thursday, she told me. She had the 
most ravishing toilette on to-day : a white and blue robe : you 
might have taken it for silver. She's nearly as young as I am." 

The letter despatched to Lady Chandos by Emily set forth 
the praises of Mrs. Trehern, and especially dwelt upon the fact 
that her mother was a " dear friend " of Madame de Mellissie. 
Not a word said it, though, that Mr. Alfred de Mellissie was 
Bojourning at the Lion d'Or, or at Nulle. And there came 



AN IRREVOCABLE STEP. 121 

back permissiou from Lady ( "liandos fur Emily to visit tlicm : 
she wrote herself to Miss Barlieu, desiring that it might be so. 
Emily was in her glory. 

A great apparent friendshij) sprang up between her and young 
Mrs, Trehern, who was something like herself, inexperienced 
and thoughtless. She was of good family, pleasing in manners, 
and quite won the hearts of the Miss Barlieus. Eelatives of 
hers, the De Rosnys, lived in their chateau near Nulle~the 
cause of her passing sojourn there. We school-girls remem- 
bered how Maximilian de Bethune, the young Baron de Rosny, 
had been the envoy despatched by Henri le Grand to solicit 
assistance of Queen Elizabeth, in the years subsequent to the 
great slaughter of the Huguenots. We assumed that Mrs. 
Trehern might be of the same family ; but did not know it. 

Often and often she arrived at the school to take out Emily 
Chandos. At length the Miss Barlieus began to grumble : 
Mademoiselle Chandos went out too frequently, and her studies 
were getting in arrear. Emily protested it was her mamma's 
wish and pleasure that she should take advantage of the sojourn 
of Mrs. Trehern to go out, and exhibited part of a letter from 
Lady Chandos, in which the same appeared to be intimated. 
Mademoiselle Annette shook her head, and said it was a good 
thing the month of Mrs. Trehern's stay was drawing to its 
close. 

Now it hajjpened about this time that an uncle of Miss 
Johnstone's passed through Nulle on his way to Paris, staying 
for a day at the Hotel du Lion d'Or. He invited his niece to 
go to see him, saying she might bring any one of the young 
ladies with her. She chose me, to my own surprise : perhaps 
the reason was that I had never taken an active part in annoying 
her as some of the rest had. The Miss Barlieus allowed me to 
go ; for they looked upon it, not that I was about to pay an 
indiscriminate visit, but going out with one of the governesses, 
under her safe convoy and companionship. 

" Where are you off to, little Hereford ? " demanded Emily 
Chandos, who was attiring herself before the one glass in the 
bedroom when I went up, for she was to spend the afternoon 
with the Treherns. 



122 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Miss Jolinstone's imcle is at the Lion cVOr, and she has 
asked me to dinner there. We are to dine at the table d'hote." 

" The Lion d'Or ! " cried Emily, turning round. " What a 
chance ! to have that sharp-sighted duenna, Peg, dining at table 
with us ! " 

" What, do you — do the Trehcrns dine at the table d'hote ? " 

" Where else should they dine ? The hotel is too full, just 
now, to admit of jn-ivate dinners." 

Mr. Johnstone came for us, and we walked about, looking at 
the old town, until six o'clock, the dinner hour. A novel scene 
to me was that crowded dining-room, with its array of company, 
of waiters, and of good cheer ; so novel that for some time I did 
not notice four seats, immediately opposite to us, quite vacant. 

All eyes were raised at the four who came in to fill them. 
Mr. and Mrs. Trehern ; she dressed elaborately, perfectly ; not 
a fold of her robe out of place, not a hair of her many braids ; 
Alfred de Mellissie, with his airs of a petit maitre, but good- 
looking enough ; and Emily Chandos, with her gay and 
sparkling beauty. 

" Just look there, Miss Hereford ! Do you see that ? " 

Miss Johnstone's words were spoken in a low tone of con- 
sternation. I would not understand to whom she alluded. 

" See what, Miss Johnstone ? " 

"Miss Chandos," she answered, devouring Emily with her 
eyes. " I wonder if the Demoiselles Barlieu know that while 
she has been pretending to visit the Treherns, it has been a 
cloak for her meeting that Frenchman ? " 

" Oh, Miss Johnstone ! She has visited the Treherns." 

" I can see through a mill-stone," was Miss Johnstone's cold 
answer. 

Never were more defiant looks cast upon a governess than 
Emily Chandos threw over the table at Miss Johnstone. 
That the latter provoked them by her manner there was no 
doubt. I think — I always had thought — that she was envious 
of Miss Chandos, though whence or why the feeling should 
have arisen I cannot say. They were the most distinguished 
group at table, Mr. Trehern — a fine, big, burly Cornishman — 
and his wife, Monsieur de Melissie and Emily : and the waiters 



AN IRREVOCABLE STEP. 123 

treated them with marked distiuetion. Even the appurtenances 
of their dinner were superior, for none others within the range 
of my vie\v ventured upon sparkling Moselle and ice. They 
rose from table earlier than many, Emily throwing me a laugh- 
ing nod, as she took Mr. Trehcrn's arm, Alfred do Mellissie 
following with Mrs. Trehern ; but not vouchsafing the slightest 
notice of Miss Johnstone. 

" She may take her leave of it," I heard the latter whisper to 
herself. 

Mr. Johnstone did not mend th.e matter, or his niece's 
temper. " What a lovely girl that is ! " he exclaimed. " She is 
English." 

" Yes," answered Miss Johnstone, her lii)S parting with 
acrimony. " She is one of my pupils," 

" One of your pu2)ils ! How is it she took no notice of you ? " 

Miss Johnstone made no reply, but the acrimony on her lips 
grew sharper : very sharp indeed when she saw Emily escorted 
home by Monsieur de Mellissie, with Mrs. Trehern's maid in 
attendance. 

The exjilosion came next day. Miss Johnstone lodged a 
formal complaint in private before the Miss Barlieus. Miss 
Chandos, she felt perfectly certain, was being made clandestine 
love to by Monsieur Alfred de Mellissie ! 

" Seated at the table d'hote with the young man ! — accom- 
panied by him home afterwards ! " cried Mademoiselle Annette. 
" It is not to be believed." 

Miss Johnstone said it was, and called me as a witness. 
Emily Chandos was commanded to the salon, and (juestioued. 

She could not deny it ; she did not attempt it : rather braved 
it out. 

" Where was the harm of it. Mademoiselle Annette V Mon- 
sieur de Mellissie did not attempt to eat me." 

" Yoii know that the customs and ideas of our country are 
against this kind of thing," emphatically pronounced Miss 
Barlieu. " I am surprised at you. Mademoiselle Emily ; you 
have deceived us. I shall write to miladi your mother to-day. 
If she sanctions this public visiting, I cannot. I cannot pos- 
sibly allow any young lady in my establishment to run the risk 



124 ANNE HEREFORD. 

of being talked of as imprudent. You will not go to Mrs. 
Trehern again ; she has shown herself little capable of taking 
care of you." 

" Do you mean, mademoiselle, that I am not to go out in 
future when invited ? " asked Emily, her heart beating visibly. 

" I shall very unmistakably point out to your mamma the 
desirability of your not again going out to visit : certainly you 
will not while Monsieur do Mellissie remains at Nulle," was 
the pointed reply of Miss Barlieu. 

And Emily Chandos knew that her liberty was over. But 
for this, would she have taken the irrevocable step she did 
take ? Alas ! it was soon too late to sjieculate. 

An immediate reply came from Lady Chandos, interdicting 
all indiscriminate visiting for Emily ; and saying that she must 
make good use of her time in study, as she would leave school 
early in the spring. 

Did the arrival of that letter expedite the catastrophe ? I 
cannot tell. It was known that Madame de Mellissie, the 
mother, was at Nulle again, and a very short time went on. 

We were doing English with Miss Johnstone one afternoon, 
when Mrs. Trehern called. Emily was allowed to see her, but 
Mademoiselle Barlieu accompanied her to the salon. Some sort 
of explanation took place, and Mrs. Trehern was informed that 
Miss Chandos could not visit her again. She left, and Emily 
returned to the class, but the English lesson was over then. 
Over in disgrace, for none of us had done well ; at least. Miss 
Johnstone said we had not. By way of punishment, she pro- 
tested she should make us finish it after supper. 

We had bread-and-butter and shrimps for supi)er that night 
— I shall always remember it ; and we prolonged it as much as 
we could, drinking three cups of tea each, and eating as many 
shrimps as we could get. Emily Chandos did not appear, and 
Mademoiselle Caroline — who had viewed the scandal touching 
Alfred de Mellissie with shocked displeasure — would not allow 
her to be called, saying she was " sulking." But the supper, 
si>in it out as we would, could not last all night, and Miss 
Johnstone, as good as her word, called us up with our English 
books. 



AN IRREVOCABLE STEP. 125 

" (io aufl fiud Miss Chaudos," slie said to me. "She li:is 
chosen to go without her sui)i)ei-, but she shall uot escape i.cr 
lesson." 

Emily was not to be found. Amidst a search of commot'c.n, 
the like of which I had never seen, it was discovered that f lie 
had quitted the house. The De Mellissies, the next inquired 
for, had quitted the town. A telcgraijhic message went to 
ChaudoSj and Mademoiselle Barlieu took to her bed w'Ah 
chagrin. 

The despatch brought back Mr. Chandos, Emily's brother. 
About the same hour that he arrived, a letter was received from 
London from Monsieur Alfred de Mellissie, saying that he and 
Miss Chandos had just been married by special licence, and also 
by the rites of the Eomish Church. That his English mother 
had aided and abetted the stej), although she did not accompany 
them in their flight to England, there was no question of. 

Miss Barlieu saw Mr. Chandos in her chamber ; the affair 
had made her really ill. Afterwards, as I was passing down 
the stairs, he came forth from the drawing-room from an 
interview with Miss Annette. She was talking very fast, her 
eyes streaming with grief, and Mr. Chandos sti'ove to soothe her. 

" It all comes of that indiscriminate visiting, sir, that was 
allowed to Mademoiselle Chandos," she said, with bitter tears. 
" I told my sister ten times that Miladi Chandos was Avrong to 
permit it. Ah ! sir, we shall not ever get over the blow. 
Nothing of the kind has ever happened to us." 

" Do not distress yourself," Mr. Chandos answered. " I can 
see that no shadow of blame rests with you. That lies with 
Emily and the De Mellissies : my sister's fortune is a great 
prize to a Frenchman." 

What made me gather myself into a nook of the wall, and 
gaze upon Mr. Chandos, as he passed out in the dusk of the 
evening ? Not the deep, mellow tones — not. the sweet accent 
of voice in which his words were spoken. That they were all 
that, my ear told me ; but something else had struck upon me 
— his face and form. Where had I seen him ? 

Somewhere, I felt certain. The contour of the pale face, 
with its fine and delicate features ; something in the tall, slim 



12r> ANNE HEREFORD. 

figure, even in the manner of turning his head as he spoke : all 
seemed to touch on a chord of my memory. Where, where 
could I have seen Mr. Chandos ? 

The c[uestion was not solved, and time went steadily on again. 



CHAPTEK X. 



AT MRS. PALER S. 



Nineteen years of age. Nineteen ! For the last twelvemonth, 
since the completion of my education, I had helped in the 
school as one of the governesses. The Miss Barlieus, whose 
connection was extensive among the English as well as the 
French, had undertaken the responsibility of " placing me out," 
as my trustees phrased it. When I was eighteen their task, as 
trustees, was over, and the annuity I had enjoyed ceased. 
Henceforth I had no friends in tlic world but the Miss Barlieus : 
and truly kind and good those ladies were to me. 

I was attacked wdth an illness soon after my eighteenth 
birthday : not a severe one, but lasting tolerably long ; and that 
had caused me to remain the additional twelvemonth, for which 
1 received a slight salary. They liked me, and I liked them. 

So I was to be a governess after all ! The last descendant of 
the Herefords and the Keppe-Carews had no home in the world, 
no means of living, and must work for them. My pride rebelled 
against it now, as it never had when I was a child ; and I made 
a resolution never to talk of my family. I was an orphan ; I 
had no relatives living : that would be quite sufficient answer 
when asked about it. Keppe-Carew had again changed masters : 
a little lad of eight, whose dead father I had never seen, and 
Avho perhaj)s had never heard of me, was its owner now. 

I had never heard a syllable of Mr. Edwin Barley since I 
left him, or of any of his household, or of the events that had 
taken place there. That George Hcneage had never been traced, 
I knew ; that Mr. Edwin Barley was still seeking him, I was 
quite sure : the lapse of years could not abate the anger of a 
man like him. Mrs. Hemson was dead now, a twelvemonth 



AT MRS. PALER'S. 127 

past ; so that I was entirely alone in the world. As to the 
will, it had not been found, as was to be supposed, or the 
money would have been mine. My growth in years, the passing 
from the little girl into the woman, and the new tics and 
interests of my foreign school life, had in a degree obliterated 
those unhajipy events, and I scarcely ever gave even a thought 
to the past '? 

Mr. and Mrs. Paler were staying temporarily at Nulle ; well- 
connected English people, about to fix their residence in Paris. 
They were strangers to me personally, but the Miss Barlieus 
knew something of their family, and we heard that Mrs. Paler 
w^as inquiring for a governess ; one who spoke thoroughly 
English, French, and German. Mademoiselle Annette thought 
it might suit me, and proposed to take me to call on them at 
the Lion d'Or Hotel. 

I seized upon the idea eagerly. The word Paris had wrought 
its own charm. To bo conveyed to that city of delight appeared 
only secondary to entering within the precincts of a modern 
Elysium. 

" Oh, Mademoiselle Annette, pray let us go ! I might 
perhaps do for them." 

Mademoiselle Annette laughed at the eagerness so un- 
equivocally betrayed. But she set otF with me the same day. 

The Lion d'Or was full. Mr. and Mrs. Paler had no private 
sitting-room (there were only two salons in the whole house), 
and we were ushered into their chamber, French fiishion. Mr. 
Paler was a stout man in gold sj)ectacles, shy and silent ; his 
wife, a tall handsome woman, with large eyes and dark hair, 
talked enough for both. Some conversation ensued, chiefly 
taken up by Mrs. Paler ex2)laining the sort of governess she 
wished for, Mr. Paler having quitted us. 

" If you require a completely well-educated young lady — a 
gentlewoman in every sense of the term — you cannot do better 
than engage Miss Hereford," said Mademoiselle Annette. 

" But what's her religion ? " abrujjtly asked Mrs. Paler. " I 
would not admit a Eoman Catholic into the bosom of my 
family ; no, not though she paid me to come. Designing 
Jesuits, as a great many of them are ! " 



128 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Which, considering she was speaking to a Roman Catholic, 
and that a moment's consideration might have tokl her she was, 
evinced anything but courtesy on the lady's part, to say nothing 
of good feeling. Mademoiselle Annette's brown cheek deej)ened, 
and so did mine. 
^ " I belong to the Church of England, madam," I answered. 

" And with regard to singing V " resumed Mrs. Paler, passing 
to another qualification unceremoniously. " Have you a fine 
voice ? — a good style ? — can you teach it well ? " 

" I sing little, and should not like to teach it. Neither am 
I a very brilliant player. I have no great forte for music. 
What I do play I play well, and I can teach it well." 

" There it is ! Was there ever anything so tiresome ? " 
grumbled Mrs. Paler. " I declare you cannot have everything, 
try as you will. Our last governess was first-rate in music — 
quite a divine voice she had — and her style perfect ; but of all 
the barbarous accents in French and German (not to speak of 
her wretched grammar), hers were the worst. Now, you are a 
good linguist, but no hand at music ! What a worry it is ! " 

" May I ask what age your children are ? " interposed 
Mademoiselle Annette, who could speak sufficient English to 
understand and join in the conversation. 

" The eldest is twelve." 

" Then 1 can assui-e you Miss Hereford is quite sufficient 
musician for what you will want at present, madam. It is not 
always the most brilliant players who are the best instructors ; 
our experience has taught us the contrary is the case." 

Mrs. Paler mused. " Does Miss Hereford draw ? " 

" Excellently well," replied Mademoiselle Annette. 

" I have a great mind to try her," debated Mrs. Paler, as if 
soliloquizing with herself. " But I must just pay my husband 
the compliment of asking what he thinks : though I never 
allow any opinion of his to influence me. He is the shyest 
man possible ! he went out, you saw, as you came in. I am 
not sure but he will think Miss Hereford too good-looking ; 
but she has a very dignified air with her, though her manners 
are charmingly simple." 

" When you have considered the matter, madam, we shall be 



AT MRS. PALER'S. 129 

glad to receive your answer," observed Mademoiselle Annette, 
as she rose. And Mrs. Paler acquiesced. 

" Anne," began Mademoiselle Annette, as we walked borne, 
" I do not think tbat situation will suit you. You will not be 
comfortable in it." 

"But why?" I asked, feeling my golden visions of Paris 
dimmed by the v/ords. " I think it would perfectly suit mo, 
mademoiselle." 

"Madame Paler is not a nice lady; she is not a gentle- 
woman. I question, too, if she would make you comfortable." 

"I am willing to risk it. You and Mademoiselle Barlieu 
have told me all along that I cannot expect everything." 

" That is true, my child. Go where you will, you must look 
out for disagreeables and crosses. The lives of all of us are 
made up of trials ; none, save ourselves, can feel them ; few, 
save ourselves, can see, or will believe in them. Many a 
governess, tossed and turned about in the world's tempest, 
weary of her daily task, sick of its monotony, is tempted, no 
doubt, to say, ' Oh that I were established as the Demoiselles 
Barlieu are, with a home and school of my own ! ' But I can 
tell you, Anne, that often and often I and my sister envy the 
lot of the poorest governess out on her own account, because 
she is free from anxiety." 

She spoke truly. Every individual lot has its peciiliar trials, 
and none can mitigate them. " The heart knoweth its own 
bitterness." I walked on by her side then, in my young in- 
experience, wondering whether all people had these trials, 
whether they would come to me. It was my morning of life, 
when the unseen future looks as a bright and flowery dream. 
Mademoiselle Annette broke the silence. 

" You will never forget, my dear, that you have a friend in 
us. Should you meet with any trouble, should you be at any 
time out of a situation, come to us ; our house is open to 
you." 

" Thank you, thank you, dear Mademoiselle Annette," I 
replied, grasping her hand. " I will try and do brave battle 
with the world's cares ; I have not forgotten my mother's 
lessons." 

Anne HcrifurJ. 9 



130 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Anne," slie gravely responded, " do not battle : rather 
welcome them," 

Well, I was engaged. And, as the Demoiselles Barlieii 
observed, it was not altogether like my entering the house of 
people entirely strange, for they were acquainted with the 
family of Mr. Paler : himself they had never before seen, but 
two of his sisters had been educated in their establishment. 

A week or two after the Palers had settled themselves in 
Paris, I was escorted thither by a friend of the Miss Barlieus, 
The address given mo was Avenue de St. Cloud, Commune de 
Passy. We found it a good-looking, commodious house, and 
my travelling protector, Madame Bernadotte, left me at the 
door. A young girl came forward as I was shown into a 
room. 

" Are you Miss Hereford, the new governess ? " 

" Yes. I think I have had the pleasure of seeing you at 
Nulle," I answered, holding out my hand to her. 

" That I'm sitre you've not. I never was at Nulle. It was 
Kate and Harriet v/ho went there with papa and mamma. I 
and Fanny and Grace came straight here last week from Eng- 
land, with nurse." 

Now, strange to say, it had never occurred to me or to the 
Miss Barlieus to ask Mrs. Paler, during the negotiations, how 
many pupils I should have. Two children Avere with them at 
Nulle, Kate and Harriet, and I never supposed that there were 
others ; I believed these would be my only pupils. 

" How many are you, my dear '? " 

" Oh, we are fivo." 

" Am I to teach you all "? " 

" Of course. There's nobody else to teach us. And we have 
two little brothers, but they are quite in the nursery." 

Had Mrs. Paler purposely concealed the number ? or had it 
been the result of inadvertence ? The thought that came over 
me was, that were I engaging a governess for five jiupils, I 
should take care to mention that there were five. They came 
flocking round me now, every one of them, high-spirited, romp- 
ing girls, impatient of control, their ages varying from six to 
twelve. 



AT MRS. PALER'S. 131 

"Mamma and papa arc out, but 1 don't suppose they'll bo 
long. Do yon want to see mamma ? " 

" I shall be glad to see her." 

" Do you M'ish for anything to cat '? " inquired Miss Paler. 
" You can have what you like : dinner or tea ; yoii have only 
to ring and order it. We have dined and had tea also. Mamma 
has not ; but you don't take your meals with her " 

As she spoke, some noise was heard in the house, and they 
all ran out. It proved to be Mrs. Paler. She Avent up to her 
own sitting-room, and thither I was summoned. 

" So you have got here safely. Miss Hereford ? " was her 
salutation, spoken cordially enough. But she did not oiFer to 
shake hands with me. 

*' I have been making .acquaintance with my pupils, madam. 
1 did not know there were so many." 

" Did you not ? Oh, you forget ; I have no doubt I men- 
tioned it." 

" I think not. 1 believed that the two Miss Palers I saw at 
Nulle were your only children." 

" My only children ! Good gracious, Miss Hereford, wliat 
an idea ! Why, 1 have seven ! and have lost two, wliich made 
nine. You will take the five girls ; five are as easily taught as 
two." 

I did not dispute the words. I had come, intending and 
hoping to do my duty to the very utmost extent, whether it 
might be much or little Though certainly the five pupils did 
look formidable in prospective, considering that 1 should have 
to teach them everything, singing excepted 

" I hope you will suit me," went on Mrs. Paler " I have 
had many qualms of doubt since 1 engaged you. But I can't 
beat them into Mr. Paler ; he turns round, and politely tells me 
they are ' rubbish,' as any heathen might." 

" Qualms of doubt as to my being only nineteen, or about my 
skill in music ? " I asked 

" Neither ; your age I never made an objection, and I dare 
say your music will do very well for the present. Here's Mr. 
Paler." 

He came in, the same apparently shy, silent, portly man as 



132 ANNE HEREFORD. 

at Nulle, In liis gold spectacles. But lie camo up kindly to 
me, and shook hands. 

" My doubts turn upon serious points, Miss Hereford," pur- 
sued Mrs. Paler. " If I thought you would undermine the 
faith of my children and imbue them with Eoman Catholic 
doctrines " 

" Mrs. Paler ! " I interrupted, in surprise. " I told you I 
was a Protestant, brought up strictly in the tenets of the 
Church of England. Your children are of the same faith : there 
is little fear, then, that I should seek to undermine it. I know 
of none better in the world." 

"You must excuse my anxiety, Miss Hereford. Can you 
conscientiously assure me that you hate all Eoman Catholics ? " 

I looked at her in amazement. And she looked at me, waiting 
for my answer. A smile, unless I mistook, crossed the lips of 
Mr. Paler. 

" Oh, Mrs. Paler, what would my own religion be worth if I 
could hate ? Believe me there are excellent Christians amongst 
the Eoman Catholics, as there are amongst ourselves. People 
who are striving to do their duty in this world, living and 
working on for the next. Look at the Miss Barlieus ! I love 
them dearly ; every one respects them : but I would not change 
my religion for theirs."' 

" Is it the fact of your having spent four years in their house 
that makes me doubtful. But I think I can trust you ; you 
look so sincere and true. The alarming number of converts to 
Eomanism which we have of late years been obliged to witness, 
must make us all fearful." 

" Perverts, if you please," interrupted Mr. Paler. " When I 
hear of our folk going over to the Eomish faith, I always 
suspect they are those who have not done their duty in their 
own. A man may find all he wants in his own religion, if he 
only looks out for it." 

" Oh, that's very true," I exclaimed, my eyes sparkling, glad, 
somehow, to hear him say it. " It is what I have been trying 
to express to Mrs. Paler." 

" She has her head full of some nonsensical fear tliat her 
children should bo tuvned into Eoman Catholics — I suppose 



AT MRS. PALER'S. 133 

because we arc in a Catholic country," lie resumed, looking at 
his wife through his glasses. " She'll talk about it till she 
turns into one herself, if she doesn't mind ; that's the way the 
mania begins. There's no more fear of sensible people turning 
Catholics than there is of my turning Dutchman : as to the 
children, the notion is simply absurd. And what sort of 
weather have you had at Nulle, Miss Hereford, since we 
left it ? " 

" Not very iinc. Yesterday it poured with rain all day." 

" Ah. That would make it pleasant for travelling, though." 

" Yes : it laid the dust." 

" Did you travel alone ? " 

"Oh no; the Miss Barlieus would not have allowed it. It 
is not etiquette in France for a young lady to go out even for a 
walk alone. An acquaintance of the Miss Barlieus, Madame 
Bernadotte, who was journeying to Paris, accompanied me." 

" Well, I hope you will be comfortable here," he concluded. 

" Thank you ; I hope so." 

"And look here, I'll give you a hint. Just you get the 
upper hand of those children at once, or you'll never do it. 
They are like so many untrained colts." 

Nothing more was said. I had not been asked to sit, and 
supposed the silence was a hint that I must quit the room. 
Before I had gone far, a servant came and said I was to go 
back to it, Mrs. Paler was alone then, looking very solemn 
and dark. 

" Miss Hereford, you have been reared in seclusion, mostly 
in school, and probably know little of tlie convenances — the 
exactions of social life. Do not be offended if I set you right 
upon a point — I have no doubt you have erred, not from want 
of respect, but from lack of knowledge." 

What had I done ? of coiirse I said I should be obliged to 
her to set me right in anything when found wrong. 

" You are a governess ; you hold a dependent situation in my 
house. Is it not so ? " 

" Certainly it is," I answered, wondering much. 

"Then never forget that a certain amount of respect in 
manner is due to myself and to Mr. Paler. I do not, of course, 



134 ANNE IIEEEFORD. 

v/isli to exact tlic deference a servant would give — you must 
understand tliat ; but there's a medium : a medium, Miss Here- 
ford. To you, I and Mr. Paler are " madam " and " sir," and I 
beg tbat we may be always addressed as such." 

I curtsied and turned away, the burning colour dyeing my 
face. It was my first lesson in dependence. But I.irs. Paler 
M'as right ; and 1 felt vexed to have forgotten that I was only a 
governess. Misplaced rebellion rose in my heart, whispering 
that 1 was a lady born ; that my family \f&s far higher in the 
social world than Mr. or Mrs. Paler's ; whispering, moreover, 
that that lady was not a gentlewoman, and never could be one. 
But after a few minutes spent in sober reflection, common sense 
chased away my foolish thoughts, leaving in place a firm reso- 
lution never so to transgress again. From that hour, I took 
up my position bravely — the yielding, dependentj submissive 
governess. 

But what a life of toil I entered upon ! and — ^where were my 
dreams of Paris? Have you forgotten that they had visited 
me, in all their beautiful delusion? 1 had not. Delusive 
holies are always the sweetest. 

When I had stayed three months at Mrs. Paler's I had never 
once been into Paris further than the Champs Elysees. Except 
that we went every Sunday morning in a closed carriage to the 
Ambassador's chapel, I saw nothing of Paris. The streets may 
have been of crystal, the fountains of malachite marble, the 
houses of burnished gold, for all 1 witnessed of them — and I 
believe my warm imagination had pictured something of the 
like resplendence. There was no pleasure for me ; no going 
out ; my days were one lasting scone of toil. 

I am not going to complain unjustly of Mrs. Paler's situa- 
tion, or make it out worse than it was. It has become much 
the fashion of late years — I may say a mania — to set forth the 
sorrows and ill-treatment that governesses have to endure : 
were the other side of the question to be taken up, it might bo 
seen that ladies have as mucli to bear from governesses. There 
are good situations and there are bad ones ; and there are 
admirable governesses, as well as undesirable and most in- 
ca2)able ones : perhaps the good and bad, on both sides aro 



AT j\IES. PALER'S. 133 

about balanced. I was well treated at Mr. Paler's ; I bad a 
generous diet, and a maid to wait upon mc in conjunction with 
the two elder girls. When they had visitors in an evening, I 
was admitted on an cqiiality (at any rate to ajjpearance) ; I had 
respect paid me by the servants ; and I was not found fault 
with by Mr. and Mrs. Paler. Could I desire better than this? 
No. But I was overworked. 

Put it to yourselves what it was, if you have any experience 
in teaching. Five girls, all in different stages of advancement, 
to learn everything, from German and good English down to 
needlework. The worst task was the music ; the drawing 
lessons I could give conjointly. All five learnt it, piano and 
harp, and two of them, the second and the youngest but one, 
were so wild and unsteady that they could not be trusted to 
practise one instant alone. I rose every morning at half-past 
six to begin the music lessons, and I was usually up until 
twelve or one o'clock the next morning correcting exercises, for 
I could not find time to do them during the day. " Make 
time," says some one. I could only have made it by neglecting 
the children. 

" Our last governess never did a thing after six in the even- 
ing," Kate said to me one day. " You shouH not be so par- 
ticular. Miss Hereford." 

" But she did not get you on to your mamma's satisfaction." 

" No, indeed : mamma sent her away because of that. She 
did not care whether we advanced or not. All she cared for 
was to get the studies over anyhow." 

JiTst so : it had been eye-service, as I could have told by 
their ignorance when I took the girls in hand. My dear mother 
had instructed me differently : " Whatever you undertake, Anne, 
let it be done to the very best of your ability : do it as to God ; 
as though His eye and ear were ever present with you." 

I appealed to Mrs. Paler : telling lier I could not continue to 
work as I was doing, and asking what could be done. 

" Oh, nonsense. Miss Hereford, yoxi must be a bad economizer 
of time," she answered. " The other governesses I have had 
did not complain of being overworked." 

" But, madam, did they do their duty ? " 



136 ANNE HEREFORD. 

"MiclclHng for tliat — but then they were incorrigibly lazy. 
We are quite satisfied with you, Miss Hereford, and you must 
manage your time so as to afford yourself more leisure." 

I suggested to Mrs. Paler that she should have help for part 
of the music lessons, but she would not hear of it ; so I had to 
go on doing my best ; but to do that best overtaxed my strength 
sadly. Mrs. Paler might have had more consideration : she saw 
that 1 rarely went out ; one hurried walk in the week, perhaps, 
and the drive to church on Sunday. My pujuls walked out 
every day, taken by one or other of the servants ; but they did 
not go together : two or three stayed with me while the rest 
went, and when they came back to me these went. Mrs. Paler 
insisted upon my giving an hour of music to each child daily, 
which made five hours a day for music alone. The confinement 
and the hard work, perhaps the broken spirits, began to tell 
upon me ; nervous headaches came on, and I wrote to the Miss 
Barlieus, asking what I should do. 1 wrote the letter on a 
Sunday, I am sorry to say, failing time on a week-day. None 
of us went abroad on a Sunday afternoon. Mrs. Paler protested 
that nothing but sin and gallivanting was to be seen out of 
doors on a French Sunday ; and once home from church we 
were shut up for the rest of the day. She did not go out 
herself, or suffer any one else to go ; Mr, Paler excepted. He 
took the reins into his own hands. 

The Miss Barlieus answered me sensibly; it was Miss 
Annette who wrote. " Put up with it to the close of your year 
from the time of entrance," she said. " It is never well for a 
governess to leave her situation before the year is up, if it can 
be avoided , and were you to do so, some ladies might urge it 
as an objection to making another engagement with you. You 
arc very young still. Give Mrs. Paler ample notice, tliree 
months, we believe, is the English usage — and endeavour to 
part with her amicably. She must see that her situation is 
beyond your strength." 

I took the advice, and in Juno gave Mrs. Paler warning to 
leave, having entered her house in September. She was angry, 
and affected to believe 1 would not go. I respectfully asked 
her to put herself in idea in my place, and candidly say whether 



AT MRS. PALER'S. 137 

or not the work was too hard. She muttered something about 
" over-conscientiousness ; " that I shoukl get along better with- 
out it. Nothing more was said ; nothing satisfactory decided, 
and the time went on again to the approach of September. I 
wondered how I must set about looking out for another asylum ; 
I had no time to look out, no opportunity to go abroad. Mr. 
Paler was in England. 

"Miss Hereford, mamma told me to say that we shall be 
expected in the drawing-room to-night ; you, and I, and 
Harriet," observed Kate Paler to me one hot summer's day. 
" The Gordons are coming and the De Mellissies." 

" What De Mellissies are those ? " I inquired, the name 
striking upon my ear with a thrill of remembrance. 

" What De Mellissies are those ? why, the De Mellissies," 
returned Kate, girl-fashion. " She is young and very pretty ; 
I saw her when I was out with mamma in the carriage the 
other day." 

" Is she English or French '? " 

" English, I'll vow. No French tongue could speak English 
as she does." 

" When you answer in that free, abrujit manner, Kate, you 
greatly displease me," I interposed. " It is most unladylike." 

Kate laughed ; said she was free-spoken by nature, and it 
was of no use trying to be otherwise. By habit more than by 
nature, I told her : and I waited with impatience for the evening. 

It was Emily. I knew her at once. Gay-mannered, laugh- 
ing, lovely as ever, she came into the room on her husband's 
arm, wearing a pink silk dress and wreath of roses. Alfred do 
Mellissie looked ill ; at least he was paler and thinner than in 
the old days at Nulle. She either did not or would not 
remember me ; as the evening drew on, I felt sure that she did 
not, for she spoke cordially enough to me, though as to an utter 
stranger. It happened that we were quite alone once, in the 
recess of a window, and I interrupted what she was saying 
about a song. 

" Have you quite forgotten me, Madame de Mellissie ? " 

" Forgotten you ! " she returned, with a quick glance. " I 
never knew you, did I ? " 



138 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" In the years gone by, wlien you were Miss Oliandos. I am 
Anne Hereford." 

A puzzled gaze at me, aud then she hid her face in her 
hands, its penitent expression mixed with laughter. " Never 
say a word about that naughty time, if you love me ! Every 
one says it should be buried five fathoms deep. I ought to 
have known you, though, for it is the same gentle face ; the 
sweet and steady eyes, with the long eyelashes, and the honest 
good sense and the pretty smile. But you have grown out of 
all knowledge. Not that you are much of a size now. What 
an escapade that was ! The staid Demoiselles Barlieii will 
never get over it. I shall go and beg their pardon in person 
some day. Were you shocked at it ? " 

" Yes. But has it brought jon happiness V " 

' Who talks of happiness at soirees '? You must be as 
iinsophisticated as ever, Anne Hereford. Has that Johnstone 
left ? •' 

" A long, long while ago. She was dismissed at the end of a 
few months. The Miss Barlieus did not like her." 

" I don't know who could like her. And so you are a 
governess ? " 

"Yes," I bravely avowed. '• I have been nearly a year with 
the Miss Balers." 

" You must get leave to come and see me. Alfred, here's an 
old schoolfellow of mine. I dare say you will remember her." 

Monsieur dc Mellissie came at the call, and was talking to 
mo for the rest of the evening. 

The great things that a night may bring forth ! The sad- 
ness that the rising of another sun may be bearing to us on its 
hot wings ! 

It was the morning following the soiree. I was in the 
schoolroom with the girls, but quitted it for a minute to read 
a letter in peace that arrived by the early post. It v/as written 
by Miss Barlieu. A very kind letter, telling me to go back to 
them whilst I looked out for a fresh situation, should I not get 
one before leaving Mrs. Baler. Suddenly tlie door opened, and 
Mrs. Baler came in without any ceremony of knocking, her 



AT MRS. PALER'S. 139 

face white, and an open letter in her hand. She looked scared, 
fierce ; agitation impeding her free utterance. 

" Here's news ! " she brought out at length, her voice rising 
to a scream ; " here's news to come upon me like a thunderholt ! 
Does he expect me to live through it '? " 

" Oh, Mrs. Paler, what has happened V You look ill and 
terrified. You have had had tidings ! Will you not tell them 
to me ? " 

" What else have I come for but to tell you ? " she retorted, 
speaking in tones that betrayed as much anger as distress. 
" I went to the study after you, and frightened the girls ; they 
were for following me here, so I locked them in. I must tell 
some one, or my feelings will burst bounds ; they always were 
of a demonstrative nature. Not like Ms, the sly, quiet fox ! " 

My fears flew to Mr. Paler. He had been in England some 
time now, ever since the middle of May. Tliough I did not 
understand her auger, or the last words. 

" You have heard from Mr. Paler, madam ! " I uttered. 
" Some harm has happened to him ! " 

" Harm ! yes, it has. Harm to me and my children, though, 
more than to him. Miss Hereford, he has just gone and ruined 
himself." 

" Hov/ ? " I asked, feeling grieved and puzzled. 

" It v/as always his mania, that turf-gambling, and as a 
young man he got out of thousands at it. I thought how it 
would be— I declare I did — when he became restless here in 
Paris just before the Epsom Meeting, and at last went oft' to it. 
' You'll drop some hundreds over it, if you do go,' I said to 
him. ' Not I,' was his retort, ' since I have had children to 
drop hundreds over, I don't spare them for race-horses.' A 
wicked, reckless man ! " 

" And has he — dropped the hundreds, madam ? " 

" Hundreds ! " she shrieked ; and then, looking covertly 
around the room, as if fearful others miglit be listening, she 
sank her voice to a whisper : " He has lost thirty thousand 
pounds." 

" Oh ! " I exclaimed, in my horror. Mrs. Paler wrung her 
hands. 



140 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Thirty thousand pounds, every pound of it — and 1 hope 
remorse will haunt him to his dying day ! Epsom, Ascot, 
Goodwood — I know not how many other courses he has visited 
this summer, and has betted frantically at all. The mania was 
upon him again, and he could not stop himself. He is lying 
ill now at Doncaster, at one of the inns there, and his brother 
writes ; he tells me they dare not conceal the facts from me 
any longer." 

" Shall you not go over to him, madam ? " 

" I go over to him ! " she retorted ; " I would not go to him 
if he were dying. But that my children are his, I would never 
live with him again ; I would never notice him : I would get 
a divorce, if practicable, but for their sakes. You look shocked, 
Miss Hereford ; but you, an unmarried girl, cannot realize the 
blow in all its extent. Do you think a man has any right 
wilfully to bring disgrace and misery upon his wife and 
children ? " 

" Oh, madam — no ! " 

"It is my punishment come home to me," she wildly ex- 
claimed. " They told me how it would be, sooner or later, if I 
persisted in marrying James Paler : but I would not listen to 
them. My mother and sisters will say it serves me right." 

I heard the children squealing and kicking at the school- 
room door, and did not dare to go to them. 

" It is next door to ruin," said Mrs. Paler ; " it will take 
from us more than half our income ; and present debt and 
embarrassment it must bring. Ah ! see how some things — 
trifles — happen sometimes for the best ! I thought it a great 
misfortune to lose you, but I am glad of it now, for I am sure 
I can no longer afford an expensive governess. Nor many 
servants, either. Oh, woe's me ! " 

I stood looking at her distress with great pity, feeling that 
Mr. Paler must be next kin to a madman. And yet I had liked 
him : ho was most affectionate to his children, and solicitous 
for the comfort of his household. Mrs. Paler seemfed to become 
suddenly awake to the uproar. She darted to the schoolroom, 
scolded one, boxed another, locked the door upon them again, 
and came back to me. 



AT MRS. PALEE'S. 141 

" I had better settle things with you at once, Miss Hereford. 
If I take it into my head, I may go off to my family in England 
at a minute's notice ; there's no knowing. Your time here will 
expire in a fortnight ? " 

" Yes." 

" I had intended to offer an increased salary, if you would 
stay on — but that's all out of the question now. I suppose you 
have no settled plans ; no fresh situation to go to ? " 

" Madam, it has not been in my power to look out for 
one." 

" True. Yet it is better that you should go. I don't know 
what may become of us in future : where we shall live, or what 
we shall do — perhaps go to some obscure place in Germany, or 
Scotland, or Wales, and economize : anywhere, so that it's 
cheap. I wonder that such men, who deliberately bring ruin 
on their families, are permitted to live ! But now we must try 
and find you another situation," 

" Perhaps Madame de Mellissic may know of something : 
and I think she would interest herself for me, if I knew how to 
see her." 

" You can go and see her," replied Mrs. Paler, " you can go 
to-day, and call ujion her. My maid shall take you. Never 
mind the studies : I feel as if I should not care if the girls 
never learnt anything again — with this blow upon them." 

I did not wait for a second permission : the thought that 
Emily de Mellissic might help me to a fresh situation had been 
floating in my mind all night. She was well-connected in 
England ; she was in the best society in Paris ; and she was 
good-natured. 

In the afternoon I proceeded to the hotel (as it was called) 
of old Madame do Mellissic, for it was her house, and her son 
and daughter-in-law lived with her. Emily was at liome, sur- 
rounded by morning callers, quite a crowd of them. She looked 
intensely surprised at seeing me ; was, or I fancied it, rather 
distant and haughty in manner ; and, pointing to a chair, 
desired me to wait. Did she deem I had presumptuously in- 
truded as one of those morning callers ? Very humbly I waited 
until the lust had gone : schooling myself to remember that I 



142 ANNE HEREFORD. 

was only a poor governess, whilst she was Madame Alfred de 
Mellissie, nee Miss Chandos of Chandoe. 

"And so you have soon come to pay me a visit, Miss 
Hereford ! " 

" I have come as a petitioner, rather than a visitor, Madame 
de Mellissie. Can yon spare me five minutes ? " 

" I can spare you ten if you like, now those loungers arc 
gone." 

I forthwith told my tale. That 1 was leaving Mrs. Paler's, 
where I was overworked : that I had thought it possible she 
might know of some situation : if so, would she kindly 
recommend me ? " 

" The idea, Anne Hereford, of your coming to me upon such 
an errand ! " was her laughing answer. " As if I troubled 
myself about vacant situations ! There is a rumour current in 
Paris this morning that James Paler has been idiot enough to 
go and ruin himself on the turf. That he has lost a great deal 
of money is certain, for the newspajiers allude to it in a manner 
not to be mistaken. Thank goodness, Alfred has no weakness 
that way, though he is empty-headed enough. Is it not a 
dreadful life, that of a governess? " 

"At Mrs. Paler's it has been one of incessant toil. I hope 
to go where the duties T\dll be lighter. It is not the life I like, 
or would have chosen ; but I must bend to circumstances." 

" That's true enough. I will ask all my friends in Paris if 

they By the way," she abruptly broke off, speaking with 

deliberation, " I wonder whether — if you should be found suit- 
able — whether you would like something else ? " 

I made no reply ; only waited for her to exj)lain herself. 

" The case is this. Miss Hereford," she resumed, assuming a 
light manner. " 1 thought of going to Chandos on a visit ; my 
husband was to have conducted me thither, but Madame de 
Melissie has been ailing, and Alfred says it would not do for 
him to leave her. This morning we had a dispute over it. 
' There's nothing much amiss with her,' I said ; ' were she in 
danger, it would be a different matter, but it's quite unreason- 
able to keep me away from Chandos for nothing but this.' 
Monsieixr Alfred grew vexed, said he should not quit her, and 



AT MRS. PALER'S. 143 

moreover, did not liimself feel well enough to travel— for lie 
has a sort of French fever hanging about him. They are 
always getting it, you know. I am sick of hearing one say to 
another, ' J'ai la fievre aujourd'hui ! ' Then I said I should go 
without him : ' With great pleasure,' he comiilacently replied, 
provided I would engage a lady as companion, but he should 
not trust me alone. Complimentary to my discretion, was it 
not?" 

I could not deny it — in a certain sense. 

" But the bargain was made ; it was indeed. I am to look 
out for a companion, and then I may be off the next hour to 
England; destination Chandos. Would you like to take the 
place ? " 

A thousand thoughts flew over me at the abrupt question, 
crowding my mind, dyeing my cheeks. The prospect, at the 
first glance, appeared like a haven of rest after Mrs. Paler's. 
But — what Avould be my duties? — and was I, a comparative 
child, fit for the post ? Should I be deemed so by Monsieur 
de Melissie ? " 

" What should I have to do ? " I asked. 

" Anything I please," she answered. " You must amuse me 
when I am tired, read to me v/hen I feel inclined to listen, play 
to me when I wish, bo ready to go out when I want you, give 
orders to my maid for me, write my letters when I am too idle 
to do it, and post yourself at my side to play propriety between 
this and Chandos. Those are the onerous duties of a dame de 
compagnie, are they not? but I have no experience in the 
matter. Could you undertake them ? " 

She spoke all this curiously, in haughty tones, but with a 
smile on her face. I did not know how to take it. " Arc you 
speaking seriously, Madame de Melissie ? " 

" Of course I am. Stay, though. About the payment ? I 
could not afford to give much, for my purse has a hole at both 
ends of it, and I am dreadfully poor. I suppose you have had 
a high salary at Mrs. Paler's ? " 

" Sixty guineas." 

" Oh, don't talk of it ! " she exclaimed, stoj)ping her ears. 
" I wish I could give it ; bi^t I never could squeeze out more 



144 ANNE HEREFORD. 

tlian twenty. Anne, I will make a bargain with you : go with 
me to Chandos, stay with me during my visit there ; it will 
not last above a week or two ; and when we return here, I will 
find you a more lucrative situation. For the time you are 
Avith me, I will give you what I can afford, and of course pay 
your travelling expenses ! " 

With the word "Anne," she had gone back to the old 
familiar manner of our school-days. I accepted the offer 
willingly, subject, of course, to the approval of Monsieur de 
Mellissie ; and feeling very doubtful in my own mind whether 
it would be carried out. As to the payment — what she said 
seemed reasonable enough, and money wore but little value in 
my eyes : 1 had not then foimd out its uses. Provided I had 
enough for my ordinary wants of dress, it was all I cared for ; 
and a large sum was due to me from Mrs. Paler. 

Somewhat to my surprise. Monsieur de Mellissie approved of 
me as his wife's companion, paying me a compliment on the 
occasion. " You are young, Mademoiselle Hereford, but I can 
see you are one fully to be trusted: I confide my wife to 
you." 

" I will do what I can, sir." 

" You laugh at my saying that thing," he said, speaking in 
his sometimes rather odd English, " You think my wife can 
better take care of you, than you of her," 

" I am younger than she is," 

" That goes without saying, mademoiselle. You look it. 
The case is this," he added, in a confidential tone. " It is not 
that my wife wants protection on her journey ; she has her 
femme de chambre ; but because I do not think they would 
like to see her arriving alone at Chandos. My lady is difficile." 

The permission to depart accorded, Madame de Mellissie 
was all impatience to set off. I bought a dress or two, but she 
would not allow me time to get them made, and I had to take 
them unmade. Though I was going to Chandos as a humble 
companion, I could not forget that my birth would have entitled 
me to go as a visitor, and wished to dress accordingly. 

The foolish girl that I was ! I spent my money down to 
one napoleon and some silver ; it was not very much T had hy 



CHANDOS. 145 

me ; and then Mrs. Paler, to my intense consternation, told me 
it was not convenient to pay me my salary. 

Slie owed me thirty guineas. I had received the first thirty 
at the termination of the half-year : it was all spent, including 
what I had laid out now. I appealed to Mrs. Paler's good 
feeling, showing my needy state. In return she appealed to 
mine. 

" My dear Miss Hereford, I have not got it. Until remit- 
tances shall reach me from Mr. Paler, I am very short. You 
do not require money for your journey, Madame Alfred de 
Mellissie pays all that, and I will remit it to you ere you have 
been many days at Chandos. You will not, I am sure, object 
so far to oblige a poor distressed woman." 

What answer could I give ? 

On a lovely SejDtember morning we started for Boulogne-sur- 
Mer, Madame Alfred de Mellissie, I, and her maid Pauline. 
Monsieur de Mellissie saw us off at the station. 

" I would have run down to Boulogne to put you on board 
the boat, but that I do not feel well enough ; my fever is very 
bad to-day," he said to me and his wife. She took no notice of 
the words, but I saw they were true : his pale thin face had a 
hectic flush upon it, his hand, meeting mine in the adieu, burnt 
me through my glove. 

" Madame de Mellissie, your husband certainly has an attack 
of fever," 1 said, as the train started. 

" Ah, yes, no doubt ; the French, as I previously observed, 
are subject to it. But it never comes to anything." 



CHAPTEE XI. 

CHANDOS. 

The station of Hetton, some fifty miles' journey from Lond(.)n 
on the Great Western line, and two from Chandos, lay hot and 
bright in the September sun. It was afternoon when we reached 
it. Madame de Mellissie had preferred to stay a night in 
London, and go on the next day at leisure. A handsome closii 

Anne Herefordt 10 



14G ANNE HEREFORD. 

carriage was in waiting outside the station, its three attendants 
wearing the C'handos livery, its panels bearing the arms of the 
Chandos family, surmounted by the badge of England's 
baronetage, the bloody hand. The servants lifted their hands 
to their hats, and respectfully welcomed Madame de Mellissie. 

" Is mamma well ? " she inquired of them. 

" Quite well, madam." 

" And my brother ? Why is he not here ? " 

" Mr Chandos, madam, was obliged to attend a county 
meeting." 

" Those ponderous county meetings ! " she retorted. " And 
they never do any good. Step in, Miss Hereford." 

We were soon driving along. Pauline sat behind with one 
of the footmen, the other remained to bring on the luggage. 
Madame de Mellissie looked out at the points of road as we 
passed, v/ith all the glee of a child. 

" This is my second visit only to Chandos since my marriage. 
For two years mamma was implacable, and would not see me ; 
but last year slio relented, and I came here for a little while. 
I don't believe, though, mamma will ever forgive me in her 
heart. I am sorry for it now." 

" Sorry for havings — having married as you did '? " 

" Ay, I am. Those rebellious marriages never bring luck. 
They can't, you know ; only, girls are so thoughtless and stupid. 
I made my own bed, and must lie on it ; it is not so bad as it 
might have been : but — of course, all that's left is to make the 
best of it. Alfred says we should get on better if we had 
children. I say we should not. And there, in the distance, 
you see the chimneys of Chandos. Look, Anne ! " 

She was wayward in her moods ; wayward to me as to others. 
Sometimes, during our past journey, she would be distantly 
polite, calling me " Miss Hereford : " the next moment oi)en and 
cordial as ever she had been at school. That she had tlirown 
herself away in a worldly point of view, marrying as she did, 
was indisputable, and Emily Chandos was not one to forget it. 

Chandos Avas a long, low, red-brick house, with gables and 
turrets to its two wings, and a small turret in the middle, which 
gave it a simiewhat Gothic appearance. It was only two storeys 



CIIANDOS. 147 

high, and struck me as looking low, not elevated, perhaj^s i)artly 
from its length. No steps ascended to the house, the lower 
rooms were on a level with the ground outside. It was a sort 
of double house ; the servants' rooms, kitchens, and chambers, 
all looking to the back, wliere there was a separate entrance. 
Extensive grounds lay around it, but they were so crowded 
with trees, except just close to the house, as to impart a Aveird- 
like, gloomy appearance ; they completely shut Chandos House 
from the view of the world beyond, and the world beyond from 
the view of Chandos. A jn-ctty trcUiscd portico was at the 
entrance ; jessamine, roses, and clematis entwined themselves 
round it, extending even to the windows on either hand. Before 
the carriage had well stopped, a gentleman rode up on horse- 
back, followed by a groom. He threw himself from his horse, 
and came to the carriage-door. 

" Back just in time to receive you, Emily. How are you, 
my dear ? " 

She jumped lightly from the carriage, and he was turning 
away with her when he saw me. His look of intense surprise 
was curious to behold, and he stopped in hesitation. Emily 
spoke : her tone a slighting one, almost disparaging. 

" It is only my companion. "Would you believe it, Harry, 
Alfred took a prudent fit, and would not suffer me to travel 
alone ? So I engaged Miss Hereford : she was in quest of a 
situation ; and we knew each other in days gone by." 

He assisted me from the carriage. It was tlio same fine man 
I had seen some years before at Mademoiselle Barlieu's ; the 
same pale coimtcnance, with its delicate features and rather sad 
expression; the same sweet voice. He then gave his arm to 
his sister, and I followed them to the sitting-room. They 
called it the oak-parlour ; a large, square room, somewhat dark, 
its colours harmoniously blending, and its v/indows shaded with 
the trained clematis and jessamine. It was the favourite sitting- 
room at Chandos. Other reception-rooms there were : a gorgeous 
double drawing-room, a well-stored library, a spacious dining- 
room ; but the oak-parlour was the favourite. And none could 
wonder at it ; for it was one of those seductive apartments that 
si^eak to the feelings of repose. 



148 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Where's mamma ? " exclaimed Emily, as we entered. 

" Not far ; slie will be Lere directly, you may be sure," re- 
j)lied Mr. Chandos. " Is tbia your first visit to our part of the 
country. Miss Hereford '? " 

" Yes ; I never was bere before." 

Now wbat was tbere in this rei3ly to offend Madame de 
McUissie ? or did sbe resent bis speaking to me at all ? Sbe 
turned round, baugbty pride stamped on every line of ber 
countenance, rebuke on ber tongue : tbougb the rebuke lay in 
tbc tone, ratbcr tban in the words. 

" Miss Hereford ! tbe gentleman to whom you speak is Mr. 
Cbandos." 

Had I again omitted tbe sign of my dependent situation, tbe 
" sir ? " I, v/bo bad resolved, witb my tben burning face (burn- 
ing again now), never so to offend for tbe future — I supposed 
tbat tbat was tbe meaning of Madame de Mellissie ; I suppose 
so still, to tbis bour. I bad spoken as tbougb I were tbe equal 
of Mr. Cbandos : I must not — I tvoulcl not — so offend again. 

" Emily, my love, you are welcome." 

A little woman had entered tbe room, and was holding 
Madame de Mellissie in ber arms. It was Lady Cbandos. Sbe 
wore a small and pretty widow's cap of net, a rich but soft 
black silk dress, and black lace mittens. Her nose was sharp, 
and her small face bad a permanent redness, the result of dis- 
turbed bcaltli. She was not like her daughter, not half so 
beautiful ; and she was not like ber handsome son, iinless it 
was in the subdued, sad expression. Sbe quite started back 
when ber eyes fell on me, evidently not j)reparcd to see a 
stranger. 

" Miss Hereford, mamma ; a young lady whom I have engaged 
as companion. Alfred would not suffer me to travel alone." 

Lady Chandos turned to me with a pleasant smile, but it 
struck me as being a forced one. 

" I think you look more fit to take care of Miss Hereford, 
Emily, than Miss Hereford of you," she said. 

" I am the elder by some two or three years, if you mean 
tbat, mamma. Ob ! it was just a whim of my husband's." 

More questioning on either side ; just the information sought 



CHANDOS. 149 

for wlicn relatives meet after a long absence. Emily answered 
carelessly and lightly ; and I sat beLiud, unnoticed. 

Hill was called. Hill was still at Cbandos, lady's-maid and 
housekeeiJcr, a confidential servant. Slie came forward, wear- 
ing a dark-brown go^\^l and handsome black silk apron, ber 
grey bair banded under ber close wbite lace cap. Lady Cbandos 
spoke witb ber in an undertone, most likely consulting wbat 
cbambor I sbould bo placed in, for Hill turned ber eyes ujion 
me and looked cross. 

A wide staircase, its balustrades of carved oak, gilded in 
places, wound up to tbe rooms above. A gallery, lighted from 
above, ran along this upper floor, from wing to wing, paintings 
lining it. It seemed as if the wings had some time been added 
to the bouse, for they were of a dilibrent style of architecture. 
A green-baize door shut them out from the gallery. Beyond 
this was a narrow corridor, and then a double door of stout oak, 
which formed the real entrance to the wings : the same on both 
sides. What rooms might be within them, I did not yet know. 
Each wing bad a staircase of communication between its upper 
and lower floors, and also a small door of exit to the grounds 
on the sides of the house, where the trees grew very thick. In 
tbe east wing (the bouse, you must understand, facing the 
south), this lower outer door was kept locked and barred — to 
all intents and purposes, closed up ; in the west wing, which 
was inhabited exclusively by Lady Cbandos, tbe door w'as 
simply locked, and could be opened inside at will ; though no 
one ever made use of it but herself, and she very rarely. 

Several rooms opened from the gallery to tbe front— all of 
them bed-chambers, except one : that was the library. The 
library was tbe room next to the east wing. Opposite to it was 
a door opening to a room that looked back, level Avith the north 
rooms in the east wing. A similar room opened from the gallery 
at the other end. In fact, the house was built in uniform — one 
end tbe same as the other. Between the doors of these two 
rooms tbe wall of the gallery ran unbroken ; there was, in 
fact, no comnnmication whatever, as regards the up2)er rooms, 
between the back portion of the bouse and the front. 

And now for tbe ground-floor. The portico was not in the 



150 ANNE HEREFORD. 

middle of tlie liousc, but near to the east wing ; one room only, 
the large dining-room, that seemed to be never used, lying 
between. The hall was rather small, dark, and shut in, the oak 
parlour being on the left hand as you entered. Two doors at 
the back of the hall led, the one to the handsome staircase, the 
other to the kitchens and other domestic rooms belonging to 
the household. A spacious corridor, underneath the gallery 
above, branched off from the hall by means of an open archway 
behind the oak parlour, and ran along the house ; and the 
various reception rooms, all looking front, including Mr. 
Chandos's private sitting-room, opened from it. A passage at 
the other end of the corridor led to the rooms at the back, but 
it had been closed up ; and there was no communication what- 
ever on this lower floor with the wings. The doors in the hall, 
leading to the stairs and to the servants' offices, as often as not 
stuod open during the day. Lady ("handos sat much in the 
west wing ; she seemed to like being alone. And I think that 
is all that need be said at present with regard to the indoor 
features of the house. The description has not been given 
unnecessarily. 

Hill marshalled me up the staircase. It had been decided 
that I was to have the " blue room." The stairs terminated in 
a wide landing. The library and the east wing lay to the 
right, as we ascended ; the long gallery on the left. Hill passed 
two chamber-doors, and opened a third, that of the blue room. 
It was as little calculated for immediate occupation as any 
room can well be ; the whole of the furniture being covered up 
with clean sheets of linen, except the blue silk window-hangings. 
Madame de Mellissie had the room next to it, and I could hear 
her talking in it with her mother. Hill surveyed matters, and 
gave a sort of grunt. 

" Ugh ! I thought the maids had uncovered this room yester- 
day : as I've just told my lady. They must have hurried over 
their cleaning pretty quick. Please to stop tliis way, miss. 
If yoit'll wait here a few minutes, I'll liave tilings arranged." 

She went back along the gallery, opened the door of the first 
bedroom on this side the staircase, and showed me in. It was 
a very pretty room, not large ; its hangings and curtains of 



CHANDOS. 151 

delicate clilntz, llucil with i)ale rose-colour, and its furniture 
not covered up, but as evidently not in occu2>ation. I wondered 
why they could not j^ut me in that. The window was wide 
open. I untieil my bonnet and stood there. Hill closing the 
door and going downstairs, no doubt to call iq) tlie housemaids. 

With the exception of the gravel drive below, and tlie green 
lawn in front of it, its velvet softness dotted with the brightest 
flowers, the place seemed to look ujion nothing but trees, inter- 
sected with gloomy walks. Trees of all sorts — low as dwarf 
shrubs, high as towering poplars, dark green, light green, bright 
green. The walks branched everywhere — one in particular, 
jiist opposite my window, looked very gloomy, shaded as it was 
by dark pine-trees. I found afterwards that it was called the 
Pine Walk. Why the place should have struck upon me with 
a gloom, I can hardly tell ; other people might have seen 
nothing to justify the impression. " (Jhandos has need to live 
in a world of its own," I thought, " for assuredly it is shut in 
from all view of the outer world." 

There arose a sound as of some one softly whistling. It 
came from the adjacent window, one in the gallery, which must 
have been open the same as mine. I did not like to lean 
forward and look. Another moment, and the whistling ceased ; 
some one else ajij^eared to have come up, and voices in conver- 
sation supervened. They were those of Lady Chandos and her 
son, and I became an involuntary hearer of what troubled me 
much. 

" This is one of Emily's wild actions," said Lady Chandos. 
" She knows quite enough of our unhappy secrets to be sure 
that a stranger is not wanted at C'handor." 

" Look for the most imjirobable thing in the world, mother, 
Tjefore you look for discretion or thought in Emily," was tho 
reply of Mr. Chandos. " But tliis is only a young girl, 
imsuspicious naturally from her age and sex: Emily might 
have introduced a more dangerous inmate. And it may ha2>i)en 
that " 

" I know what you would lirge, Harry," interrupted the voice 
of Lady Chandos. " Rut there's no certainty. There cannot 
be : and it is most unfortunate that Emily should have Ir^ught 



152 ANNE HEREFORD. 

lier here. Every night, night by night as they come round, I 
lie awake shivering ; if the wind does but move the trees, I 
start ; if an owl shrieks forth its dreary note, I almost shriek 
with it. You know what we have cause to fear. And for a 
stranger to be sleeping in the house ! " 

" Yes, it is certainly unfortunate." 

" It is more than that ; it is dangerous. Harry, I have 
never, I hope, done a discourteous thing, but it did occur to mc 
to put this young girl to sleep on the servants' side of the 
house. I think her being so ladylike in appearance saved her 
from it, not my good manners. I don't know what to do." 

Mr. Chandos made no reply. 

" I wish I had done it ! " resumed Lady Chandos. " But 
there's another thing — Emily might object : and to have any 
fuss would be worse than all. Still, look at the risk — the 
stake ! Is it too late, do you think, Harry ? Would it do to 
change her room now ? " 

"My dear mother, you are the best judge," observed Mr. 
Chandos. " I should not change the room if I could possibly 
avoid it ; the young lady might consider it in the light of an 
indignity. Emily introduced her in a slighting sort of manner ; 
but her looks are refined, her manners those of a gentlewoman." 

" Yes, that's true." 

" How long does Emily think of remaining ? " 

" She says two weeks. But she is as uncertain as the wind. 
How could she think of bringing a stranger with her ? " 

" Have you told her all ? — why it is just now particularly 
undesirable ? " 

" No. She never has been told. And I hoj^o and trust she 
may be gone again before — before trouble comes." 

" Quite right ; I should not tell her. Well, mother, as you 
ask my opinion, I say things had better remain as ai'ranged ; 
let the young lady occupy the blue room. How cross Hill 
looked over it ! " 

" Not without cause. I cannot think how Emily can have 
been so senseless. It is just as though she had planned the 
annoyance — bringing her here without writing! Had she 
written, I should have forbidden it." 



CHANDOS. 153 

" Let us hope that nothing will happen." 

" Harry, we cannot answer for it. Again, on Ethel's acconnt, 
a stranger in the house is not desirable. Emily might have 
thought of that." 

The voices ceased ; I suppose the speakers quitted the place ; 
and down I sat, overwhelmed with shame and consternation. 
To be introduced in this unwelcome manner into a house, 
bringing annoyance and discomfort to its inmates, seemed to 
me little less than a crime ; I could scarcely have felt more 
guilty had I committed one. 

And what was the mystery ? That something or other was 
amiss in the family was all too evident. " Have they a ghost 
here?" I said to myself, in peevishness. Involuntarily the 
long-past words of Annette Barlieu flashed into my mind : and 
I had never thought of them since they were spoken. " There 
is always a cloud hanging over Chandos. They do not care to 
have a governess residing there : Miladi said it to me." Then 
what was the cloud ? — what was the fear ? 

Hill came in again, saying I was to keep the chintz-room. 
Lady Chandos, in passing just now along the gallery to her 
own ajjartments in the west wing, saw for the first time that 
the blue room was not ready. So it was decided between her 
and Hill that I should occujjy the chintz one. 

The luggage was brought up, and I began to dress for 
dinner. A question occurred to me — are companions expected 
to dress, in the wider sense of the term ? I really did not 
know, in my inexperience. My birth entitled me to do so ; but 
did my position ? A minute's hesitation told me I was a guest 
at Chandos, treated and regarded as one, and might aj^pear 
accordingly. So I put on a pretty low blue silk, with my 
necklace of real pearls, that had once been mamma's, and the 
pale-blue enamelled bracelets with the pearl clasps. I had 
been obliged to dress a good deal at Mrs. Paler's in the even- 
ing ; and — to confess the truth— I liked it. 

I stood at the door, hesitating whether to go down, as one is 
apt to do in a house, the ways of which are unfamiliar, when 
Mr. Chandos, ready for dinner, came suddenly out of the room 
opposite to the library, nearly opposite to mine, the one that I 



154 ANNE HEREFORD. 

spoke of as looking to the back of the Louse, aucl adjoining the 
back rooms of the east wing. I concluded that it was his bed- 
chamber. He smiled at me as he crossed to the stairs, but did 
not say anything. Directly after, Emily de Mcllissie ajipeared 
in the gallery, radiant in white silk, with an apple-blush rose in 
her hair, and a diamond aigrette embedded in it. Thoy said she 
was full of whims — as I knew foi- myself. How ardently I hoped 
that some whim would send her speedily away from Chandos ! 

We went into the first drawing-room, one of the most 
beautiful rooms 1 had ever seen, its fittings violet and gold. 
Lady Chandos was there, and did not ajipear to have changed 
her dress. The dinner was served in the oak-parlour ; not once 
in a year did they use the great dining-room. Lady Chandos 
kindly passed her arm tlirough mine ; and Mr. Chandos brouglit 
in his sister. 

I' It was a pleasant dinner, and a pleasant evening. Emily 
was on her best behaviour, telling all manner of amusing 
anecdotes of Paris life to her mother and brother, ignoring me. 
I listened, and was spoken to by the others now and then. We 
did not quit the oak-jjarlour. When dessert was taken, 
Hickens, the butler, removed it and brought in tea. " After 
my snug sitting-room upstairs, the drawing-room is so large," 
obsers'ed Lndy Chandos to me, as if in apology ; " I like this 
parlour best." 

Ujwn retiring to rest a neat-looking servant with light hair, 
whose name I found was Harriet, came to the chintz-room, and 
asked whether she should do anything for me. She said she 
was one of the housemaids — there were two besides herself, 
Lizzy Dene and Emma. Altogether, including the coachman, 
a helper in the stables, and two gardeners— all four of whom 
were out of doors, living half-a-mile away — there were seven- 
teen servants at Chandos. A large number, as it seemed to 
me, considering the very little attendance that was requirect of 
them. I told Harriet I had been accustomed to wait upon 
myself, and she retired. 

But I could not get to sleep. The conversation I had over- 
heard ke])t haunting me. I wondered wliat the mystery could 
be ; I wondered whether 1 should be disturbed in the night by 



CHANDOS. 155 

noises, or anytliing else. What uncanny doings could there bo 
in tlie house ? — what unseemly inmates, rendering it inexpedient 
that a stranger should share its hospitality? Was it really 
tenanted by ghosts? — or by something worse? At any rate, 
they did not molest me, and. my sleep at last was tranquil. 

We went down the following morning at half-past eight ; 
Emily in a white dimity robe of no shape, but tied round the 
waist with a scarlet cord, the effect altogether rather untidy ; I 
in a mauve-coloured muslin, with ribbons of the same shade ; 
and found Lady and Mr. Chandos v/aiting breakfast in the oak- 
parlour. The panels of this room were of alternate white and 
carved oak, with a great deal of gilding about both ; it had a 
most imusual api:>earance ; I had never seen anything like it 
before. The ceiling was white, with gilt scrolls round it, and 
cornices. The large chimney-glass was in a carved oak frame, 
gilded in places to match the walls ; the slanting girandole 
opposite the window, reflecting the green grass and the waving 
trees in its convex mirrored surface, had a similar frame. The 
chandelier for tlie wax lights was of gilt, also the brandies on 
the mantel2)ieco, and those of the girandole. It was a pleasant 
room to enter— as I thought that morning. The oak-brown 
silk curtains, with their golden satin-wrought flowers, were 
drawn quite back from the windows, which were thrown open to 
the lovely morning air ; a briglit fire burnt in the grate oj^posite 
the door ; the breakfast-table with its snow-white linen, its 
painted Worcester china, and its glittering silver, was in the 
centre. Easy-chairs stood about the room, a sofa against the 
wall — all covered to match the curtains — brown and gold : a 
piano was there, a sideboard stood at the back, underneath the 
reflecting luirror ; other chairs, tables, ornaments ; and the 
dark carpet was soft as the softest moss. Out of all order 
tliough cavillers for severe taste might have called the room. I 
know that it possessed an indescribable charm. 

Lady Chandos, dressed just as she had been the previous 
day — and I found it was her usual dress at all times — sat with 
her back to the Avindow, her son facing her, I and Emily on 
either side. Breakfast v/as about half over when Hickens 
brought in some letters on a small silver waiter, presenting 



156 ANNE HEREFORD. 

tliem to Mr. Chandos. I was soon to learn tliat all letters 
coming to the house, whether for servants or others, were in- 
variably handed first of all to Mr. Chandos. One of these was 
directed to " Lady Chandos ; " two to " Harry Chandos, 
Esquire ; " the fourth to " Mrs. Chandos." Mr. Chandos put his 
mother's letter on the waiter again, and Hickens handed it to 
her. He then came back with the waiter to his master, who 
placed the other letter upon it. 

" For Mrs. Chandos." And Hickens went out with it. 

Who was Mrs. Chandos ? I should have liked to ask, but 
dared not. 

" Do you mean to say that there is no letter for me, Harry ? " 
exclaimed Madame de Mellissie. " That's my punctual 
husband ! He said he should be quite certain to send me a 
letter to-day." 

" The French mail often comes in later, Emily," remarked 
her brother. 

He and Lady Chandos read their letters, Emily talked and 
laughed, and the meal came to an end. At its conclusion Mr. 
Chandos offered to go round the grounds with his sister. 

" Yes, I'll go," she answered. " You can go also, Miss Here- 
ford, if you like. But we must get our bonnets and parasols, 
first, Harry." 

My bonnet and parasol were soon found, and I stood at my 
bedroom door, waiting for Emily. As she came down the 
gallery, the green-baize door on my right, leading to the east 
wing, opened, and a middle-aged lady appeared at it. Madame 
de Mellissie advanced and cordially saluted her. 

"I should have paid you a visit yesterday, Mrs. Freeman, 
but that I heard Mrs. Chandos was ill." 

" You are very kind, madam," was the lady's reply. " Mrs. 
Chandos was exceedingly unwell yesterday, but she is better 
to-day. She " 

Mrs. Freeman was interrupted. A lovely-looking girl — girl 
she looked, though she may have been seven or eight-and-twenty 
— appeared at the door of one of the rooms in the wing. Her 
dress was white ; she wore a beautiful little head-dress of lace 
and lavender ribbons, and she came forward, smiling. 



OUT OF DOOES AT CHANDOS. 157 

"I heard you liad arrived, Emily dear, and slioidd liave 
joined you all yesterday, but I was so poorly," slie said, clasp- 
ing Madame de Mellissie's hand. " How well you look ! " 

" And you look well also," replied Emily. " We must never 
judge you by your looks, Mrs. Chandos." 

" No, that you must not : I always look in rude health, in 
spite of my ailments," answered Mrs. Chandos. " Will you not 
come and sit with me for half-an-hour ? " 

" Of course I will," was Madame de Mellissie's reply, as she 
untied her bonnet and threw it to me carelessly, speaking as 
careless words. 

" Have the goodness to tell Mr. Chandos that I am not going 
out yet." Mrs. Chandos, who had not noticed me before, 
turned in surprise, and looked at me ; but Madame de Mellissie 
did not, I suppose, deem me worth an introduction. 

I went downstairs to deliver her message. Mr. Chandos was 
waiting in the oak-parlour, talking to his mother. 

" Madame do Mellissie has desired me to say that she will 
not go out yet, sir." 

" I did not expect she would," he answered, with a slight 
laugh, " for she is as changeable as the wind. Tell her so from 
me, will you, Miss Hereford ? " 

He bent his dark blue eyes upon me with a half-saucy 
glance, as if intimating that he meant what he said. 

" Very well, sir." 

I returned to my own room, took off my things, and sat down 
to think. 

Who was Mrs. Chandos ? 



CHAPTEK XIL 

OUT OF DOOllS AT CHANDOS. 



That day was a dull one. I did not feel at home, and could 
not make myself feel so. Madame de Mellissie went out in the 
carriage with Lady Chandos, and I was alone. I strolled out 
a littlo in the afternoon, just to sec what the place outside was 



158 ANNE HEREFORD. 

like. The entrance-gates were on the left, the gravel drive 
leading straight to them ; but there were so many paths and 
walks, and trees and rocks, and hanks and flower-beds on 
either side, that you might almost lose yourself, and quite lose 
sight of the broad drive. The most curious-looking feature 
aboiit Chandos was the little iipper turret : but for the narrow 
Gothic window in it, it might have been taken for a pigeon- 
house. 

I came back, and crossed to the Pine Walk ; that again was 
intersected by patlis, conducting it was liard to say wliither. 
The trees towered aloft, the lower shrubs were high and thick. 
In three minutes after quitting the house, not a vestige even of 
its chimneys was to bo seen ; and I retraced my steps, not 
caring to lose myself. But for the beautiful order in which 
everything was kept, the place might have been called a 
wilderness. 

I noticed one thing : that the front windows in each of the 
wings had their inside shutters closed ; strong oak shutters : 
both the lower and the upper rooms were shut in from the 
light of day, I never saw them opened while I stayed at 
Chandos. The lower windows, looking to the sides of the 
house, were also kept dark ; but the rooms above and those 
looking to the back were open. A narrow gravel path, shut in 
by laurels, led round the wings to the back of the house. The 
servants used that by the east wing, the one inliabited by Mrs. 
Chandos. No one used tlie other, excejit Lady Chandos. For 
a servant or any one else to be seen there would have been 
high treason, involving probably dismissal. It was an under- 
stood law of the house, and never rebelled against. The shrubs 
on Lady Chandos's side had grown thick as a very grove, 
affording just space for one person to pass to the small door 
that gave entrance to the wing. I knew nothing of the pro- 
hibition in strolling there that day, On learning it afterwards, 
I felt thankful not to have been seen. 

I was indoors, and sitting in my bed-chamber, the chintz- 
room, when the carriage returned. Emily, in high spirits, saw 
me as she ran upstairs, and came in. 

" All alone, Anne ! We have had a charming drive. To- 



OUT OF DOORS AT CHANDOS. 159 

morrow, if you are good, yoii sliall have one ; we'll take the 
large carriage." 

She stood with her foot on a small low chair, tilting it 
about, and looking out at the servants, who were turning the 
horses to drive round to the stables at the back. 

" What a nice place this seems to be, Madame de Mellissie ! 
But I think, if I were Lady Chandos, I should have the trees 
and shrubs thinned a little." 

" It is mamma's pleasure that they shall be thick. She only 
lives in retirement. Were my brother, Sir Thomas, to come 
home, he might eifect a change. As long as he is away, mamma's 
will is paramount at Chandos." 

" How many brothers have you ? " 

" Two. Sir Thomas and Harry." 

" Have you lost any '? " 

" Any brothers ? A little one : Grcville. He died when he 
was six years old. Why do you ask ? " 

" I was only wondering who Mrs. Chandos was. It has been 
crossing my mind tliat she is perhaps a daughter-in-law." 

Madame de Mellissie turned on me a haughty face of reproof. 
" It certainly is no aflair of yours. Miss Hereford. Mrs. Chandos 
is Mrs. Chandos ; slie is no impostor." 

" I beg your pardon, madam," I meekly answered, feeling I 
had deserved it. What right had I, Anne Hereford, to bo 
curious, and to shovv^ it ? 

It effectually silenced me for the rest of the day. We dined 
together ; herself. Lady Chandos, and I. Mrs. Chandos I saw 
no more of, and Mr. Chandos was dining at Marden, a town 
some few miles off. 

We were at breakfast the following morning, when the 
letters, as before, v/ere brought in. Two or three for the 
servants, v/hich Mr. Chandos returned to Ilickens, one for 
Mr. Chandos, and one for Madame Alfred do Mellissie. 

" I thought he would be writing," Emily observed, in 
a tone of apathy, carelessly holding out her hand for the 
letter. " Though I know he hates it like poison, Frenchman 
like." 

" It is not your husband's hand, Emily," said Mr. Chandos. 



160 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" No ? Wliy — I declare it is old Madame de Mellissie's I 
What can be amiss ? " she cried. 

" There ! was ever anything like that ? " she exclaimed, 
glancing down the letter. " Alfred's taken ill : his fancied 
gastric-fever has turned into a real one. And I must go back 
without delay, the old mere writes." 

" Is he very ill ? " inq^uired Lady Chandos. 

" So she says — in danger. But she is timid and fanciful. I 
shall not go," 

" Will you allow me to see the letter, Emily ? " asked Lady 
Chandos, in a grave tone. 

" See it and welcome ; read it out for the public benefit, if 
you will, mamma. Look at Harry, staring at me with his blue 
eyes! He deems me, no doubt, the very model of a loving 
wife." 

" Emily ! can you have read this letter ? " asked Lady 
Chandos. 

" Yes, I've read it." 

" Then how can you hesitate ? Your husband is in danger ! 
he may not survive : he will not, they say, unless a change 
takes place. You must hasten away by the first train." 

" Mamma, you need not take the half of it for gosj^el. Madame 
de Mellissie is so wrapped up in her son, that if his finger 
aches she sends for a doctor, and asks whether it will mortify." 

" Child ! I must recommend you to go," was the impressive 
response of Lady Chandos. 

" Of course I shall go ; I never meant to hesitate," came the 
peevish answer. " But it is excessively tiresome." 

It appeared that the letter to Mr. Chandos was also from 
Madame do Mellissie, asking him to urge his sister's instant 
dej^arture. She finished her breakfast, and was leaving the 
room to prepare, when she saw me following. 

" I do not want you just now, Miss Hereford. Pauline will 
see to my things." 

" But I have my own to pack." 

" Your own ! What for ? Alfred de Mellissie is not your 
husband, that you should hasten to him." 

•' But — am I not to go with you, madam ? " 



OUT OF DOORS AT CHANDOS. 161 

" Certainly not," was Iier emphatic answer. " It would be a 
needless expense and trouble." 

I felt dmnbfounded. " But, Madame de Mellissie, what am 
I to do ? " 

" Do ! Why, stay here till my return. What else should 
you do ? I shall be back in a few days at most. I know what 
Monsieur 'Alfred's danger is ! Only, if I did not make the 
journey, madame la mere would hold me forth to all Paris as a 
model of barbarity. Mamma," she quickly added, turning to 
Lady Chandos, "I shall return here to finish my visit as soon 
as I can get away. It will not be a week before you will see 
me again. You can let Miss Hereford wait here for me, can't 
you ? Can't you, Harry ? " 

" Provided Miss Hereford will make herself at home with us, 
which I fancy she has not yet done," was the reply of Mr. 
Chandos, looking at me with a smile. Lady Chandos simply 
bowed her head. 

" Oh, she is one who always gives you the notion of being 
shy," carelessly replied Emily, as she ran up the staircase. 

What was I to do ? I could not say to her, " You shall take 
me ; " but, after the conversation I had overheard, it was most 
unpleasant to me to stay. I ran after Emily. I told her that 
my remaining might not be really agreeable to Lady and Mr. 
Chandos. Her reply was, that they must make it agreeable, 
for there was no accommodation for me at Madame de Mel- 
lissie's. 

" Look here, Anne ; don't be shy and stupid. I cannot droj) 
you in the street like a waif, en route, and I cannot take you 
home. Suppose Alfred's illness should turn to typhus-fever ? 
would it be well for you to be there '? But there's no room for 
you, and that's the fact." 

I disclosed to her my penniless condition, for some of my 
poor twenty-five shillings had melted on the journey from Paris, 
and I had only fifteen left. I begged her to lend me some 
money, and I would find my way alone to Nulle. Emily 
laughed heartily, but she did not give me any. 

" I shall be back next week, child. Make yoiirself easy." 

By midday she was gone, Paulino attending her, and Mr. 

Anne Hereford. 1 1 



162 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Chandos escorting her to tlie station. I was left, witli the 
words I had heard spoken, as to my unwelcome presence in the 
house, beating their refrain on my brain. Whether Lady 
C'handos remonstrated privately with her daughter against 
leaving me, or whether she recognized it as a sort of necessity, 
and tacitly ac(][uicscod in the arrangement, I had no means of 
knowing. 

What was I to do with myself? Put on my things and go 
ont? There was nothing else to do. As I came down with 
them on. Lady Chandos met me in the hall. 

" Are you going out. Miss Hereford ? " 

" If you have no objection, madam. But I was only going 
because I felt at a loss for something to occujiy myself with. 
Perhaps you can give me something to do. Lady Chandos ? " 

" I cannot aid you, I believe. It is a pity Madame de 
Mellissie should have left you here, for I fear you will find it 
dull ; but I supj)0se there was no help for it. I sj^eak for your 
sake, my dear," she kindly added. 

" I should be so glad to do anything for you. I can sew." 

" My maids do the sewing," she said. " You will find some 
pleasant walks in the vicinity. There is one to the left, as you 
leave the gates, exceedingly rural and quiet. You will be quite 
safe ; it is an honest neighbourhood." 

I foimd the walk she spoke of, and stayed out for nearly two 
hours. Not a single house, exccjit one, did I pass. I found 
afterwards that what few houses there were lay to the right. 
This one stood in view of the entrance-gates, nearly opposite to 
the lodge ; a substantial, moderate-sized house, closed at pre- 
sent, and displaying a board—" To Let." I had half a mind 
to open its front-gate and explore the garden, but I had been 
out long enough, and turned to Chandos. 

I was not to go home witliout an adventure. In passing through 
the small iron gate, by the side of the large ones, an awfully 
fierce great dog sprang forward, savagely barking. Back I 
flew, and shut the gate between us : why he did not leap over 
the gate, I don't know ; he stood there barking, and rattling 
part of a chain that was attached to his collar. Never having 
been brought into contact with dogs, I was teri*ibly afraid of 



OUT OF DOORS AT CIIANDOS. 1G3 

fierce ones, and cowered there in au agony of fear, not daring 
to run away, lest the angry animal should leap the gate and 
spring upon me. 

Footste2)s came behind mo, and I looked round, hoping for 
protection. It was Mr. Chandos. He saw what was the 
matter, and seemed to make but one bound to the gate. 

" Stay there, Miss Hereford ! " 

He passed quietly through, and confronted the dog ; the dog 
confronted him, barking still. 

" Nero ! " 

The voice allayed the angry passions, and the dog stepped 
up. Mr. Chandos seized the end of the chain. 

" You and I must have a settling for this, Nero. Will you 
come here. Miss Hereford, and 1 will teach him to know you, 
so that he does not alarm you again, should he get loose. He 
must have broken his chain." 

" Oh, sir ! Pray do not make me come near him ! " 

Mr. Chandos turned his face quickly towards me. " Are 
you afraid of dogs ? " 

" Rather, sir. I am of that one." 

At this juncture, a groom came running iip, in search of tho 
dog. Mr. Chandos spoke sharply to him, and the man answered, 
in a tone of deprecation, that it was no fault of his ; that the 
dog sometimes, in his fits of eiibrt to get loose was as a " born 
devil," and in one of those fits had, a quarter-of-an-hour before, 
snapped liis chain, and burst through the stable window. 

" He has run the fit off, then," said Mr. Chandos, " for he is quiet 
enough now. Take him back, and mind you secure him well." 

The man took the chain in his hand, and went off, leading 
the dog. Mr. Chandos opened the gate for me. I had not 
overcome tlie fright yet, and my face felt ashy pale. 

" My poor child ! It has indeed frightened you. Do you 
feel faint ? " 

" I shall not faint, sir. I never fainted in my life." 

Without the least ceremony, he placed my hand within his 
arm, and walked on. A little to the right, underneath some 
thick cypress trees, there was a bench. H-e bade me sit down, 
and seated himself beside me. 



164 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" YoU will be all the better for resting here a minute or two. 
How did it happen ? Where did you and Mr. Nero encounter 
each other ? " 

" I had been out walking, sir. Lady Chandos told me of a 
pretty walk there is to the left, outside the gates. In coming 
back, I was just inside the gate, when the dog came up, leajiing 
and barking." 

" And you were frightened ? " 

"Very much frightened. Had I not occasion, sir? One 
moment later, and he might have torn me to pieces." 

" It is my dog," he resumed, " and I am exceedingly sorry he 
should have given you alarm. Will you return good for evil ? " 

" Good for evil ! In what manner, sir ? " I asked. 

" By not mentioning this to my mother," he replied. " She 
has a great dislike to dogs being kept on the premises. Some 
few months ago, when a friend of mine was dying, he asked me 
to take his dog — this one which has just frightened you — but 
Lady Chandos would only consent to its coming here on con- 
dition that it should be kept tied up. It is a valuable dog, 
though fierce on occasions, the confinement to which it is for 
the most part condemned making it more fierce. I will take 
care it does not break bounds again, and I would prefer that 
my mother should not know of this." 

" I will not tell her, sir. I suppose Lady Chandos dislikes 
dogs as much as I do ? " 

" She does not dislike dogs : she rather likes them. But she 
objects— at least, she has objected latterly— to having dogs 
loose about the premises." 

" She fears their going mad, perhaps ? " 

Mr. Chandos laughed. " No, she does not fear that. I must 
make you and Nero friends. Miss Hereford ; yoxx will then find 
how little he is to be dreaded. You shall come to the stables 
with me when he is chained up fast. How long have you 
known my sister ? " he resumed, changing the subject. 

" I knew her a little at Mademoiselle Barlicu's. I entered 
the school just before she left it." 

" Then you must have known — have known — the circum- 
stances under which she quitted it ? " 



OUT OF DOORS AT ClIANDOS. 1G5 

He had begun tlio sentence raj)iclly, as if impelled to it by 
impulse, but after the hesitation, continued it more slowlj. 

" Yes, sir. They could not be kept from the school." 

" A mad act — a mad act ! " he murmured ; " and — if I may 
read signs — heartily repented of. It is, I fancy, an exemplifica- 
tion of the old saying, Miss Hereford, ' Marry in haste, and 
repent at leisure.' Poor Emily has leisure enough for it before 
her : she is only beginning life. I went over at the time to 
Mademoiselle Barlieu's." 

" Yes, sir ; I saw you when you were going away, and 1 hid 
myself in a niche of the hall while you passed, I knew you 
again as soon as I met you here." 

" You must have a good memory for faces, then," he said, 
laughing. 

" I think a circumstance made me recollect you, sir. It was, 
that your face struck upon me at Mademoiselle Barlieu's as 
being familiar to my memory ; I felt sure that if I had not seen 
you before, I had seen some one very like you." 

He turned and looked at me a full minute ere he spoke. 

" Who was it, Miss Hereford ? " 

" I cannot tell, sir. I wish I could tell. The resemblance 
in your face haunts me still." 

" It's not much of a face to remember," he slightingly said, 
as a stout gentleman came through the entrance-gates. He 
carried a roll of paper, or parchment, and was wiping his 
brows, his hat olf. 

" You look warm. Dexter," called out Mr. C'handos. 

" It's a close day for autumn, sir, and I walked over," was 
the response of the new-comer, as he turned out of the groat 
drive and came up. " I'm glad to catch you at home, Mr. 
Chandos. I have had an offer for this house." 

Mr. Chandos made room for him to sit down. " I have been 
turning myself into a knight-errant. Dexter ; delivering a lady 
from the fangs of a ferocious dog." 

Mr. Dexter looked as if he did not know whether to take the 
words in jest or earnest. 

" That dog of mine got loose, and terrified this young lady 
nearly out of her life. I really do not know but he would havs 



166 ANNE HEREFORD. 

attacked licr, had I not come liome at the very moment. She is 
sitting hero to gain brcatli and courage. Alxnit tlie house? 
which house do you mean ? " 

"I speak of the house opposite your lodge-gates, sir," 
resumed Mr. Doxter, after giving me a polite nod. " Haines 
came over to mo this morning, saying a gentleman Avished to 
take it, and required to enter immediately." 

" What gentleman ? Who is he ? " 

" Nobody belonging to this neighbourhood, sir : a stranger. 
Haines spoke of a Mr. Freshfield ; but was not clear upon the 
point whether it was for Mr. Freshfield himself, or for a friend 
of Mr. Freshfield's. It's all perfectly right, Haines says ; he 
will be answerable for that ; rent as safe as if it were paid 
beforehand." 

"Well, I shall be glad to let the house," returned Mr. 
Chandos. " You need not rise. Miss Hereford ; we are not dis- 
cussing secrets. It has been empty these nine months, you know, 
Dexter ; and empty houses bring no good to themselves." 

" Very true, sir. 1 had an oficr for it some days back, and 
did not trouble you with it, for I know you wouLl not have 
accej)ted the tenant. It was that Major Mann, and his rough 
lot," added Mr. Dexter, dropping his voice. 

" Oh," shortly replied Mr. Chandos, his lip curling. " I 
should be sorry to have them within hail of my gates." 

" I was sure of that. Ho pressed hard, though ; seemed to 
have taken a fancy for the place. I put him off as civilly as I 
could : it's no use to make enemies of people, where it can be 
helped. ' My Lady Chandos will only let it to a quiet tenant,' 
I told him. ' Wants a Darby and Joan, perhaps ? ' said he, 
turning \i]) his nose. ' Something of that sort, major,' I 
answered ; and so the thing dropped through. Haines assures 
me the present applicant is most respectable ; all that could be 
desired." 

" Very well. Dexter, I give you power to treat. You know 
who would be acceptable and who not, just as well as I do." 

" Haines wants the bargain to be concluded to-day, sir," said 
Mr. Dexter, rising. " He has orders to furnish at once." 

" Is Haines going to furnish ? " 



OUT OF DOORS AT CPIANDOS. 167 

"As it appears. I should fancy it may be for some one 
arriving from abroad. There's plenty of money, Haines says. 
I had better put a man or two on to the garden at once, had I 
not, sir ? " 

" Yes. And don't have those complaints about the locks, 
Dexter, as we had, you may remember, when the last house on 
the estate was let. Let them be examined throughout." 

"I'm off, then," said Mr. Dexter. "Good-day, sir. My 
respects to my lady. Good-day, ma'am." 

" Good-day," I answered. 

"Possessions bring trouble, Miss Hereford," cried Mr. 
Chandos, as Mr. Dexter moved away. " There arc several 
houses on this estate, and they are almost as much plague as 
profit. One tenant finds fault and grumbles ; another must 
have this, that, and the other done ; a third runs away, leaving 
no rent behind him, and his premises dilapidated. Our last 
agent was not a desirable one ; accepted tenants who were not 
eligible, and did not look after details. He died some months 
back, and a pretty game wo found ho had been carrying on ; 
grinding the tenants down, and cheating us. Dexter, recently 
appointed, appears to be a keen man of business, and straight- 
forward : that is, as agents go : they are none of them too 
honest." 

" I think I should let the houses for myself, sir, on my own • 
estate, and not employ an agent." 

" Do you mean that as a piece of advice to me, Miss Here» 
ford ? " lie returned, smiling. " What I might do on my own 
estate, I cannot answer for : but this one is not mine. It 
belongs to my brother. Sir Thomas Chandos. Tlie mistress of 
it for the time being is my mother ; but I take the troul)lc off 
her hands. Here's Dexter coming back again ! " 

" It is not often I go away and leave half my errand undone, 
though I have this time," Mr. Dexter called out as he came up, 
and extended the roll of paper he held. " This is the plan of 
the proposed alteration in the stables at the farm, sir, which 
you wished to look over. Shall I carry it to the house ? " 

" By no means. I'll carry it myself, if you will give it me," 
replied Mr. Chandoa And the agent finally departed. 



168 ANNE HEREFORD, 

" Are you sufficiently rested, Miss Hereford ? " 

My answer was to rise and proceed towards the house. Mr. 
Chandos, walking by my side, seemed absorbed in the roll, 
which he had partially opened. On the right the drive leading 
to the stables branched oif. I was glad that Mr. Chandos 
passed on, and did not propose to go to Nero then. Lady 
Chandos came forward as we were entering the portico. 

" What is this— about the dog attacking you, Miss Hereford ? " 
she exclaimed. 

I was so taken aback, after the wish expressed by Mr. 
Chandos, and the promise I had given him, that I remained 
like a stupid mute. He answered. 

" Nero got loose, mothei". Miss Hereford was in the act of 
entering the gate — or had just entered, was it not, Miss Here- 
ford ? — and he like a castle's zealous w^atch-dog, prevented her 
advancing further." 

" Did he touch you. Miss Hereford ? " Lady Chandos asked, 
turning to me. 

" He was not quick enough, madam : I ran back beyond the 
gate. My fear was, that he w^ould leap over ; but he did not. 
Perhaps it was too high." 

" But he would have attacked you had you not gone back ? " 

" 1 think he would. He seemed very savage." 

" Harry, this is just what I have feared," Lady Chandos 
observed to her son, in a peculiarly significant tone. " A fierce, 
powerful dog like that is liable to break his chain and get 
loose ; and I have said so to you over and over again. He 
would attack a stranger — any one he did not know, and might 
cause a fearful disturbance. You know why I have feared this." 

" The stables are safely closed at night, mother," was the 
somewhat curious reply of Mr, Chandos. 

" Robin says the dog sprang through the window ; dashed 
through the glass. There can be no security against that, day 
or night." 

" My opinion is, that some of the men must have been teasing 
him, and so w^orkcd him into a fury. I shall inquire into it, 
and if I find it to bo the fact, whoever did it shall go. Better 
precaution shall be observed for the future " 



OUT OF DOOIIS AT CIIANDOS. 1G9 

" Yes," said Ltady Cliandos, in decisive tones, " and that pre- 
caution must bo sending away the dog." 

" But really, mother, there is no necessity." 

" Harry, I am surprised at you. You know why I urge it : 
why I ought to urge it." 

The conversation did not make me feel very comfortable, and 
I interposed. " I do beg that no change may be made on my 
account, Lady Chandos. No harm is done. I am not hurt." 

" It is not on your account I am speaking. Miss Hereford. 
And — as you are not hurt — I am pleased that the thing has 
happened, because it must prove to Mr. Chandos the necessity 
for sending away the dog. He could not see it previously." 

" I should see it equally with you, mother, were the d.og to 
be insecurely fastened. But if we make him secure " 

" You deemed him secure now," she interrupted. " I will 
not risk it. Good Heavens, Harry ! have you forgotten the 
stake?" 

" What stake ? " I thought, as I went up to my room. 
Certainly the words savoured of something that I could not 
comj)rehend. 

Standing at the window at the head of the stairs Avas the 
young lady whom they called Mrs. Chandos. She wore a bonnet 
and shawl, and S2)oke as I aj^proached. 

" I do believe it is raining ! " 

" Yes," I replied ; " some drops were falling when I came in." 

But it appeared that Mrs. Chandos, when she spoke, had not 
thouglit she was addressing me, for she turned round in astonish- 
ment at the sound of my voice. 

" Oh— I beg your pardon," she coldly said. And then I saw 
that she had a white kitten in her arms. I went into my room, 
but did not close the door, and in a minute I heard the approach 
of Mrs. Freeman. 

" Did you ever know anything so tiresome ? " exclaimed Mrs. 
Chandos to her. "It is raining fast. I am sure it is not 
once in a month, hardly, that I make up my mind to walk in 
the grounds, but so sure as I do, I am prevented. It rains ; or 
it snows ; or it's too hot ; or there's thunder in the air ! It 
comes on purpose, I know," 



170 ANNE HEREFORD. 

*' Perliaps it will not he much," rej)liod Mrs. Freeman ; who, 
Ly the sound of her voice, appeared to be also now looking out 
at the window. 

" It will : look at those clouds, gathering fast into one thick 
mass. Oo — oh ! " she added, with a shiver, " I don't like to 
hear the dripping of the rain on the trees : it puts me in mind 
of— of " 

" Of what, my dear ? " asked Mrs. Freeman. 

" Of the night I first heard those awful tidings. It was 
raining then, a steady, soaking rain, and I had been listening 
to its falling on the leaves till the monotony of the sound 
worried me, and I began wishing he was at home. Not on 
these trees, you know ; we were at the other place. Drop, drop, 
drop ; as the rain never sounds but where there are trees for it 
to fall on. The opening of the room-door interrupted me, and 
my lady came in. All ! I shall never forget her ; her face was 
Avhite, her eyes looked Avild, licr hands were lifted ; I saw there 
was something dreadful to be told. She sat down, and drawing 
me to her, said " 

"Hush— sh — sh ! " interposed Mrs. Freeman, with quick 
caution. " You may be speaking for other ears than mine." 

" I was not going to allude to facts," was the retort of Mrs. 
Chaudos, her tone peevish at the interrui)tion. " My lady asked 
me if I could bear trouble ; fiery trouble, such as had rarely 
overtaken one in my rank of life before ; and my answer was to 
fall into a fainting fit at her feet. Never, since then, have I 
liked to hear the rain pattering down on the leaves where the 
trees are tliick." 

I would have shut my door, but feared it might look un- 
gracious to do so. They had eyes, and could see that it was 
open, if they pleased to look ; therefore they might choose their 
subjects accordingly. Mrs. C'handos resumed. 

" Who is that young lady ? She came up the stairs, and I 
spoke without looking round, thinking it was you." 

" I don't know who. A Miss Hereford. She came here with 
Madame de Mellissie as travelling companion." 

" But she is a stranger to Lady C'handos ? " 

" Entirely so." 



OUT OF DOORS AT CHANDOS. 171 

" Tlicn why docs Lady C'liaudos permit lior to Ijo licro ? Is 
it well, in this house of misfortune ? Is it prudent '? " 

" Scarcely so. Of course Lady Chandos can only hope — how 
you are squeezing that kitten, my dear ! " 

"Pretty little thing! it likes to be squeezed," responded 
Mrs. Chandos. " It is hiding itself from you ; from that ugly 
bonnet. You do wear frightful bonnets, Mrs. Freeman ; as 
ugly as the black ones of Lady Chandos." 

" I do not think widows' bonnets ugly," was the reply of 
Mrs. Freeman. " To some faces they are jiarticularly be- 
coming." 

" They are so ugly, so disfiguring, that I hope it will be long 
before I am called upon to wear them," returned Mrs. Chandos, 
speaking impixlsivcly. " Were my husband to die — but there ! 
I know what you Avant to say ; vrhy do I dwell uj)on trifles such 
as bonnets, when heavy calamities are on the house ? " 

" Suppose you walk about the gallery, my dear ? " suggested 
Mrs. Freeman. '• I see no chance of the rain leaving olf." 

" No, I'll go back and take my things off, and play with 
pussy. Poor i)ussy wanted a walk in the grounds as much as 
I did. Oh," — with a shriek — " it's gone ! " 

For the kitten, allured, pscrhaps, by the attractions of a pro- 
menade in the grounds, had leajicd from the arms of Mrs, 
Chandos on to a shrub below. I saw it from my window. The 
shriek brought out Mr. Chandos from the house ; he looked up. 

" My kitten, Harry," she said. " It has flown away from me, 
Get it, will you ? But I am sorry to give you the trouble." 

Mr. Chandos took the kitten from the bush and once more 
looked up ; at my window as well as at theirs. 

" Who will come for it ? Will you. Miss Hereford ? — and 
oblige my — oblige Mrs, Chandos." 

Oblige my icfiat ? Was he going to say " sister-in-law " Avhcn 
he suddenly stopped himself? But, if so, why should he have 
stopped himself? And how could she be his sister-in-law? 
Were she the wife of Sir Thomas, she would be Lady Chandos ; 
and Emily had said her brother Thomas was not married. 
She had said she had only two brothers, Thomas and Harry ; 
who, then, was this young Mrs. Chandos? That she had a 



172 ANNE HEREFORD. 

husband living was apparent, from the conversation I had just 
heard ; and I had imagined all along that she must be the 
daughter-in-law of Lady Chandos. 

These thoughts jiassed through my head as I ran down for 
the kitten. Mr. Chandos handed it to me, and turned away, 
for he was called to by some one at a distance. At the same 
moment the kitten was taken from my hands. It was by Mrs. 
Freeman, who had also come down. 

" I hope it is not hurt, poor thing," she said, looking at it. 
" It seems lively enough." 

" Mr. Chandos said it was not hurt, when he gave it to me." 

"Oh, that's right. Had it been hurt, Mrs. Chandos would 
have grieved over it. She is fond of this kitten ; and she has 
so few pleasures, poor child ! " 

" Who is Mrs. Chandos ? " I asked, in a low tone. 

" Madam ? " returned Mrs. Freeman. 

The tone — cold, haughty, reserved — struck me as conveying 
the keenest reproach for my unjustifiable curiosity ; imjustifiable 
so far as that I had betrayed it. I faltered forth the question 
again — for she seemed looking at me and waiting ; and it 
might be that she had not heard it. 

" Who is Mrs. Chandos ? " 

"Mrs. Chandos?" was the answer. "Who should she be? 
She is Mrs. Chandos." And Mrs. Freeman stalked away. 

That same evening at dusk, the dog Nero was taken away. 
A few words spoken by Hickens to his master enlightened mo 
as to the exit. 

" Is he going to be shot ? " I asked, impulsively, of Mr. 
Chandos. 

" Oh no. A farmer living near has promised to take care of 
him." 

But the tone was not (j[uite so free as usual, and I said no 
more. 



( 173 ) 
CHAPTER XIII. 

A SHOCK. 

The time passed monotonously. Always looking upon myself 
as an intruder, I could not feel at home at Chandos. A letter 
arrived in course of post from Emily do Mellissie, saying she 
had found her husband certainly ill, but not as much so as " la 
mere " had been willing to lead them to expect. In a few days 
she should write and fix the date of her return. I was at a 
loss what to do in more senses than one. Not liking to sit 
down to the piano uninvited — and no one did invite me — it 
remained closed. Now and then, when I knew that neither 
Lady Chandos nor her son was at home, I would play quietly 
for a few minutes — stealthily might be the better term. Twice 
Lady Chandos took me for a drive ; she went herself every 
day ; generally taking Mrs. Chandos. The latter I very rarely 
saw at any time. 

And so I w\as reduced to walking and reading. Newspapers, 
books, and reviews lay about the room. Had I been anything 
of a dressmaker, I should have made up the dresses bought in 
Paris, failing the money to give them out ; as it was, they lay 
in my large trunk, immade. Mr. Chandos had told me the 
books in the library were at my service, and I chose some of 
them. 

One morning, when I had gone there to get a book. Lady 
Chandos, passing the door, saw me and came in. I was stand- 
ing before a book-case in the darkest part of the room ; before 
which the inner curtains had always been drawn. They were 
undrawn now, but the doors were locked as usual. 

" Are you searching for a book, Miss Hereford ? " 

" Yes, madam. Amidst so many " 

The sight of Lady Chandos's face caused my sentence to fail. 
The evident astonishment with which she gazed on the book- 
case; the displeased, nay, the dismayed, expression of her 
countenance, was something curious. In my timidity, I feared 
she might think I had undrawn the curtains. There aj)peared 



174 ANNE HEREFORD. 

to be books of all kinds, skapes, and sizes, inside ; pamj>hlets 
and loose papers. Mr. Chandos kappened to come out of kis 
room, and ske called kim. 

" Harry," ske began, in skarp, autkoritativc tones, " wko kas 
been at tkis book-case, and left tke curtains undrawn?" 

" It must kave been Mrs. (Jkandos," ke replied, advancing to 
kis motker's side. " Tke doors are locked, I see ; tkere's no 
great karm done." 

" No karm ! " repeated Lady Ckandos ; " look kere." 

Ske pointed to a name written on tke wkite paper cover of 
one of tke books. Mr. Ckandos knitted kis brow as ke bent 
closer. 

" Very tkougktless of ker ; very negligent," murmured Lady 
Ckandos. " I kave said before tke keys ougkt not to be 
entrusted to Etkel." 

As I quitted tke room quietly, not liking to remain in it, I 
saw Mr. Ckandos take a bunck of keys from kis pocket ; and, 
subsequently, keard tke silk curtains drawn close, and tke 
doors relocked. Never skould 1 feel free to go to tke book- 
case again. 1 kad one volume of Skakespeare out, and must 
make tke most of it. 

"We were kaving lovely days, and tkis was one of tkem. 1 
strolled out, tke book in my kand. But, before settling to 
read, I went to tke gates to see liow tkey were getting on witk 
tke opj)osite kouse. Tkey kad been busy furnisking it for two 
or tkree days, and I — for want of sometking better to do — kad 
taken an interest in it, and watcked tke tkings going in. It 
appeared all in order tkis morning ; tkere was no bustle, no 
litter ; curtains were up, blinds were kalf-dra^\Ti, and smoke 
was ascending from more tkan one ckimney. Tke tenant or 
tenants must kave arrived and taken possession. 

As I stood leaning over tke small side-gate, tkere came out 
of tkat kouse a man ; a gentleman, to aj)pearance ; skort, and 
witk a dark face. But of tke latter I caugkt only a passing 
glimpse, for ke turned kis back immediately to look up at tke 
front of tke kouse. Calling to a man-servant, ke ai)iicared to 
be pointing out sometking tkat ke wisked done, or finding fault 
witk sometking tkat kad been left undone. I c uld not bear 



A SHOCK. 175 

tie words, but I could the tones ; they were authoritative, as 
was his niauner. He was evidently the master. 

I thought I had seen him before, for there was something in 
his figure, and even in the passing sight of his face, which 
struck ui)on me as being familiar. I waited for him to turn 
again, that I might obtain a better view ; but he did not, and 
soon went in. I walked back to a shady bench, and began 
reading. It was underneath the trees that shaded the side of 
the broad open walk. Presently the sound of two people, 
apparently encountering each other, reached me from behind 
the shrubs. 

" Are you here alone, Ethel ? " was asked by Mr. Chandos. 

" Yes, I took a fancy to come ; I and my kitten. Mrs. Free- 
man said wait an hour or two, and perhaps she could come with 
me. She is ill." 

" What ails her ? " 

"I don't know. She often complains now; pains come In 
her head." 

" Did you unlock the book-case in the library and leave the 
curtains undrawn ? " 

" What book-case ? " returned Mrs. Chandos. 

" That book-case." 

"What next, Harry! As if I should do anything of the 
sort ! " 

" You had the keys last night. And no one opens that book- 
case but yourself." 

" I did open that book-case, I remember, and undraw • the 
curtains ; I thought they were dusty, but I'm sui>e I thought 
I drew them again. I'm very sorry." 

" Be more cautious for the future, Ethel. Lady Chandos is 
vexed. You see, while this young lady is in the house " 

" But I cannot see what business she has in the library," 
interrupted Mrs. Chandos, in a quick, complaining tone. " A 
stranger has no right to the- run of the house. I think you 
must all be out of your minds to have her here at all." 

" In regard to the library, Ethel, I told her " 

They were the last words that reached mo. Mrs. Chandos, 
eyer changeable, was walking rapidly to the house again. 



17a ANNE HEREFORD. 

Presently Mr. Cliamlos came down the broad walk, saw me, and 
a]>proached. 

" Are you fond of Shakespeare's works ? " he asked, when he 
knew what I was reading. 

" I have never read them, sir." 

" Never read them ! " he cried, in surprise. " You cannot 
mean that, Miss Hereford." 

" But, sir, I have always been at school. And school-girls 
have no opportunity for obtaining such works. At my English 
school, Miss Fenton's, there were some volumes of Shakespeare 
in the governess's private parlour ; but I never saw anything 
of them but their backs." 

" Have you never read Byron ? " 

" Oh no." 

" Nor any novels ? " 

" Not any books of that kind." 

He looked at me Avith a half-smile, standing with his back 
against a tree. " I think I understood from my sister that you 
are an orphan ? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" Have you no home ? 

" I have neither home nor relatives. The place that seems 
more like a home to me than any other is Mademoiselle Bar- 
lieu's, at Nulle. I was there four years." 

" Did you never get any French novels there ? " 

" Indeed no." 

" My sister told me she did." 

" I don't see how that could have been, sir, ^^nIess she 
read them when she was out. Miss Chandos visited a great 
deal." 

" Yes, to her cost." 

He drew in his lips when he spoke, as one in pain, and his 
blue eyes — they were so dark as to be jiurple in some lights — 
went out far away, as if looking into the past. 

" We were too closely superintended to admit of our reading 
any books, unless by permission ; as to novels, the Miss 
Barlicus would have been in fits at tha thought. And since I 
left them I have been too fully occujiied to read for recreation. 



A SHOCK. 177 

^his 18 the first leisure time I have had for nearly as long as I 
can remember." 

" Indeed ! It must seem strange to you." 

" So strange, sir, that I am not sure whether I like it or not." 

Mr. Chandos laughed. " Did you visit much, when you were 
at Nulle ? " 

" No, sir. I had not a friend in the town. Towards the 
last. Miss Annette would sometimes take me when she went out 
to sjicnd the evening." 

" Will you allow me to direct your reading, Miss Hereford '? " 
he returned, after a 2)a'Use. 

" Oh, sir, if you would ! " I answered eagerly. " For, in truth, 
that library seems to me like a wild sea, with its multitude of 
books." 

" Yes ; and a young lady might fall amidst shoals ; for all 
the books are not equally worthy ! ' ' 

" Perhaps, sir, you will look out a few and give to me." 

" I will, with pleasure." 

" Thank you. Meanwhile, may I go on with this, as I have 
begun it ? " 

He left the tree, took the book from my hand and looked at 
it. " ' Othello ; ' yes, you may read that." 

As he returned the book to me and resumed his jiosition 
against the tree, some one approached from the outer gate. I 
thought it Avas a visitor. He came strolling on in the very 
middle of the broad avenue, his arms imderneath his coat-tails ; 
and soon I perceived it was the gentleman I had seen at the 
newly-occupied house, giving his directions to the servant. 
But ah ! as he neared us, remembrance, with its cold cliill of 
terror, struck upon my heart. I knew him instantly. It was 
Mr. Edwin Barley. Mr. Edwin Barley, and not in the luast 
altered. 

" Do you want anything, sir ? " demanded Mr. Chandos. For 
the intruder was passing us without ceremony, and turning his 
head about from side to side as curiously and freely as he 
might have done on the public road. 

" I don't want anything," was the independent answer, and 
Mr. Edwin Barley stood and faced Mr. Chandos as he spoke it, 

Aune Hereford. 12 



178 ANNE HEREFOED. 

looking at liim keenly. " The oi)en air is free to walk in, I 
bolieve." 

" Quite so — wlien you are witliout tlieso boundaries. But 
those are private property." 

" I am aware that they are tlie grounds belonging to Chandos 
House ; but I did not know a stranger might not be permitted 
to walk in them." 

" Lady Chandos prefers privacy. Strangers are not in the 
liabit of entering here ; nor can their doing so be sanctioned." 

" I presume that I am speaking to Mr. Harry Chandos ? " 

Mr. Chandos bov/ed his head, very coldly. Mr. Edwin 
Barley bowed in his turn ; it might have been called an intro- 
duction. 

" I will retreat," he said, " and I suppose I must beg your 
pardon for intruding. It did not occur to me that my strolling 
in might be imwclcome." 

Mr. Chandos said nothing to detain him, and Mr. Edwin 
Barley raised his hat and departed. Mr. Chandos returned the 
courtesy, and looked after him. 

" Who can he be, I wonder ? I don't much like his face." 

" I think it is the new tenant, sir. I saw him at the house 
just now." 

" He the tenant ! " returned Mr. Chandos. " Miss Hereford, 
v/liat is the matter with you '? You are as Avhite as that 
statue." 

I turned it off, giving no explanation ; and Mr. Chandos 
walked towards the gate. I dare say I did look white, for the 
sight of Mr. Edwin Barley brought back all the old horror of 
the events that had occurred during my sojourn in his house. 
Not that it was so much the recollection that drove the colour 
from my checks, as the dread fear that he should recognize me ; 
though why I should have feared it, I did not know. Little 
chance was there of that — had I been calm enough to judge the 
matter sensibly. While Mr. Edwin Barley had remained 
stationary in appearance, I had changed from a child into a 
woman. 

But what had led to Mr. Edwin Barley entering as the 
tenant of that small and inferior house? he, with his fine 



THE NEW TENANT BY THE LODGE-GATES. 179 

fortune and liis fine estates ! There seemed to be mystery 
enongli at Cliandos ! was tins going to be another mystery ? 

" I believe you must be right, Miss Hereford ; he has entered 
the house," said Mr. Chandos, returning. " If he is really the 
new tenant — as I sui)pose he is — he ai)pears by no means a pre- 
possessing one. I wonder what his name may be V " 

I could not, for the whole world, have told Mr. Chandos that 
I knew his name ; I could not have told that I knew him. All 
my ho2)c was that it would never be betrayed that I had known 
him, that he was any connection of mine, or that he would ever 
recognize me. What, what could have brought Edwin Barley 
to Chandos ? 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE NEW TENANT BT THE LODGE-GATES. 

The new tenant by the lodge-gates ! And it was Edwin Barley ! 
What could have brought him to Chandos ? 

Was it to look after me ? 

The conviction that it was so, fixed itself in my mind with 
startling force, and I grew nearly as sick with fear as I had 
been when I was a little child. That he was personally un- 
known to the Chandos family was evident : it seemed a strange 
thing that he should come and plant himself down at their very 
gates as soon as I became an inmate of the house. Had he in 
some crafty manner made himself acquainted with my entrance 
to it the very hour it took place ? Surely it must have been so. 
And he had lost no time in following. 

When once suspicion connected with fear arises in man's 
mind, or in woman's, the most trifling circumstances are allowed 
to confirm it. Events, however unconnected with it in reality, 
accidental coincidences tliiit have no rapport (I'm afraid that's 
a French word, but I can't help it) with it whatever, arc con- 
verted by the suggestive imagination into susjucious i)roofs, 
and looked upon as links in the chain. It might have occurred 
to my mind — it did occur to it— that it was just within the range 



im AXNE HEREFORD. 

of possibility that Mr. Edwin Barley's advent had nothing what- 
ever to do with me or my presence at Chandos, that it might be 
wholly unconnected with it, and he ignorant of it and of who I 
was ; but I threw this view away at once in my fear, and did 
not glance at it a second time. Edwin Barley had come to 
Chandos because I was there, and no power of reasoning could 
have removed this imi)rcssion from me. All these years, and 
ho had never (so far as apj^eared) sought to put himself in 
personal connection with the family : why should he have done 
it noAV, save for my presence in it '? 

Thought is quick. Before Mr. Chandos returned to me from 
watching Edwin Barley out at the lodge-gates and across the 
road, I had gone over it all in my mind, and arrived at my un- 
pleasant conviction. Some dim idea of putting as great a space 
of ground between me and him as was practicable, caused me 
to rise hastily from the garden-chair and turn to go indoors. 
Mr. Chandos walked by my side, talking of various things — 
the leaves that were beginning to fall, the fineness of the early 
autumn day, the discontent of Mr. Nero in his new home at the 
farmer's — having apparently forgotten already the episode of 
the intrusion. I answered in monosyllables, scarcely knowing 
what, my mind full of its new trouble. 

I had done no harm during my short sojourn at Mr. Edwin 
Barley's, in those long past days ; I had never heard of or from 
him since ; he had never, so far as I knew, inquired after mc ; 
so why should I fear him now ? I cannot answer this : I have 
never been able to answer it — no, not even since things, dark 
and mysterious then, have been made clear. The fear had 
taken possession of me, and probably seemed all the worse 
because it was vague and inexplicable. 

Luncheon was on the table when we turned into the oak- 
parlour, and Lady Chandos ready for it. Hickens was oi)ening 
a bottle of claret. 

"Harry, Hickens says that oiu' new tenant has arrived," 
observed Lady Chandos. 

We were sitting down then, and Mr. Chandos did not imme- 
diately reply. Perhaps Hickens thought the news required 
confirmation, for he turned round from the sideboard. 



THE NEW TENANT BY THE LODGE-GATES. 181 

" The gentleman took possession last niglit, sir ; so Brooks 
tells me : himself and four or five servants. It is only a single 
gentleman ; there's no family. Immensely rich, they say." 

" Do you know who he is, Harry '? " pursued Lady Chandos. 

" I don't know who he is, but I have just seen himself," 
replied Mr. Chandos. " He came in at our gates, deeming 
Chandos public property. I had to warn him off by telling 
him it was private." 

" What did he want ? " asked Lady Chandos. 

" Nothing, except to look about him. Had I known he was 
your new tenant, I might not have been in so great a hurry to 
cyect him." 

" Oh, but, Harry, it was as well to do it. Better to let him 
understand from the first that we cannot have strangers entering 
here at will. It would not suit me, you know ; I like privacy." 

" That is what I told him." 

" I suppose you were civil ? " 

" Quite civil, both of us — on the surface, at any rate. I did 
not take to him at first siglit ; that is, to his looks ; and I don't 
fancy he took to me. There was something peculiar in the 
tone of his voice, and he eyed me as though he wished to take 
my j)hotogra2)h." 

" He did not know you, I dare say." 

" He said he supposed he was speaking to Mr. Harry Chandos. 
Perhaps he thought it discourteous to be warned off in that 
manner. Not that he looks like one to go in for much courtesy 
himself: there was an air of independence about him almost 
bordering upon insolence. This young lady, I fancy, was not 
prepossessed in his favour."" 

I had sat with my head bent on my plate, trying to seem 
unconcerned, as if the matter were no business of mine. The 
sudden address of Mr, Chandos turned my face crimson. Lady 
Chandos looked at me. 

" He— is very ugly," I stammered in my perplexity. 

" Is he ? " she cried, turning to her sou. 

" He is rather ill-favoured, mother ; a short, dark man. 
There's one redeeming feature in his face ; his teeth. They 
Q,TG small, white, and regular : very beautiful," 



182 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" What is his uame ? " 
• " I don't kuow," said Mr. Chaudos. 

" Not know his name ! " repeated Lady Chandos, laughing 
slightly ; " and yet you accepted him as tenant ! " 

" Oh, well, Dexter made all the arrangements. I did not 
interfere pei'sonally." 

" I think, before I accepted a man as tenant, I should make 
myself acquainted with his name," spoke Lady Chandos, in a 
half-joking tone, evidently attaching no imjiortance to the 
matter. " Do you happen to have heard it, Hickens ? " 

" No, my lady." 

" We shall learn it soon enough," carelessly observed Mr. 
Chandos. " A man may not make a less desirable tenant be- 
cause he happens not to have a handsome face. Tastes difter, 
you know, Miss Hereford. Were we all bought and sold by 
our looks, what a squabbling of opinions there'd bo ! " 

The meal was nearly over, when a startling interruption 
occurred. Mrs. Chandos burst wildly into the room, agitated, 
trembling ; her hands raised, her face ashy white. Mr. Chandos 
threw down his knife and fork, and rose in consternation. 

" Oh, Lady Chandos ! Oh, Harry ! " came the words, almost 
in a shriek. " Do come ! She has fallen on the carjiet in a fit 
— or something of the sort. I think she may be dying ! " 

" Excited again, Ethel ! " observed Lady Chandos, the perfect 
calmness of her tone i:>resenting a curious contrast to the other. 
" When will you learn to take trifles quietly and rationally ? 
Who has fallen ? The white kitten ? " 

Mrs. Chandos did not like the reproach. " There's nothing 
to Ijlame me for this time," she said, with a sob of vehemence. 
" It is Mrs. Freeman. She is Ijdng there on the floor, looking 
frightful. I am not sure but she's dead." 

- " Take care of her, Harry," said Lady Chandos. " 1 will see 
what it is." 

" Shall I go ? " he asked. " It may be better. You can stay 
with Ethel." 

Lady ( 'handos only answered by waving him back, as she 
quitted the room. Mrs. Chandos trembled excessively, and Mr. 
Chandos placed her in an easy-chair. 



THE NEW TENANT BY THE LODGE-GATES. 183 

" Calm yourself, Ethel — as my mother says." 
"What nonsense you talk, Harry! As if every one could 
have their feelings under control as she has — as you have ! 
Time was when I was calm and heedless enough, Heaven 
knows, but since — since — you know ? " 

" Yes, yes ; be still now. I think you might acquire a little 
more self-control if you tried, considering that excitement does 
you so much harm." 

" It weakens me ; it lays me prostrate for three or four days. 
1 don't know what other harm it does me." 

" Is not that enough ? Where is Mrs. Freeman ? " 
" She is in my dining-room. I will tell you what haiii)ened. 
Wc were at luncheon — that is, I was, for she sat by the 
windoAV, and would not take any ; she has complained of illness 
latterly, as I told you. ' I think you might take a little of this 
fov*-l,' I said to her; 'it is very nice.' Well, she made no 
answer ; so I spoke again. Still she said nothing, and I got 
up to look at her, wondering whetlier she could have dropped 
asleep in a minute. I went round the chair, and there she v.'tis 
with a face drawn in the most frightful manner you can con- 
ceive, and the next moment she had slipped from the chair to 
the carpet. And you and Lady Chandos blame me for not 
retaining my calmness." 

" Will you take anything ? " he inquired, pointing to the 
luncheon-tray ; and it struck me that he v/ished to get the 
scene she had described out of her memory. 

" No, thank you. The sight of Mrs. Freeman has taken my 
appetite away. Suppose you come and see her for yourself: I 
don't mind going with you." 

Mrs. Chandos put her arm within his, and they departed. 
Hill ran upstairs; two or three of the maids followed her. 
Hickens looked after them in curiosity, and then came back t > 
his luncheon-table. Not to be in the way of any one, I went 
up to my room. 

For some hours I saw none of them. There was bustle in 
the house. Lady Chandos's voice I heard now and then, and 
once 1 caught a glimpse of Mr. (!handos in the grounds. 
Growing tired of my confinement, I looked out, and aslced a 



184 ANJJE HEREFORD. 

maid-servant, wlio was passing in the corridor, what had been 
the matter. 

"It was a sort of fit, miss, but she's better now," was 
Harriet's rejily. " The doctor says she must be still, and have 
rest for some time to come, and she is going away this evening." 
" Going away ! Do you sj^eak of Mrs. Freeman ? " 
" Yes, miss. She is going by her own choice. She has a 
sister who lives about thirteen miles from this, and she wishes 
to go at once to her house. My lady urged her to wait, at any 
rate until to-morrow, but Mrs. Freeman said she would rather 
go, especially as she can bo of no farther use at present to Mrs. 
Chandos. They have a suspicion that she fears another attack, 
and thinks she had better get to her sister's without delay. So 
it's all settled, and Hill is to accompany her." 

Harriet departed, leaving my door on the latch. I sat, 
reading and listening by turns, and presently there soimded 
two more encountering voices outside. Those of Lady Chandos 
and Hill, her attendant. 

"My lady," said the latter, in one of those loud whispers 
which penetrate to the ear more than open speaking, "is it 
right that 1 should go to-night? 1 could not allude to it 
before Mrs. Chandos." 

" Why should it not be right, Hill ? " 
" It is the full of the moon, my lady." 

Lady Chandos paused before replying, possibly in reflection. 
" There is no help for it. Hill," she said, at last. " Mrs. 
Freeman is too ill to be trusted to the care of any one but 
you." 

The carriage was brought to the lower door in the wing, 
unbarred and unbolted for the occasion, and Mrs. Freeman was 
taken down the enclosed stairs to it, by Mr. Chandos and the 
doctor, so that I and my curiosity saw nothing of the exit, 
which I looked upon as an unmerited wrong. She was placed 
in the carriage, and Hill and the doctor went with her. 

It was getting near dinner-time. I scarcely knew whether 
to go down or not, or wliether there would be any dinner at 
all, in the state of confusion the house seemed to be in, when 
my doubt was solved by Lady Chandos herself. Looking out 



THE NEW TENANT BY THE LODGE-GATES. 185 

at my door, she passed me, coining along the gallery from her 
own room. 

" I think dinner is ready, Miss Hereford ? " 

Following her downstairs, I saw Mr. Dexter, the agent, in 
the open portico, having at that moment, as it appeared, come 
to the house. Lady Chandos crossed the hall to speak to him. 
He put a sealed parcel, or thick letter into her hands. 

"I beg your pardon, my lady. As I was passing here, I 
brought up these papers for Mr. Chandos. The new tenant 
opposite says there's something amiss with the roof of the 
coach-house, and I'm going to call and look at it." 

Lady Chandos glanced casually at the letter she held ; and 
then a thought seemed to strike her. 

" What is the name of the new tenant, Mr. Dexter ? " 

" Barley, my lady. Mr. Edwin Barley." 

There was a startled pause. Lady Chandos suddenly put 
her hand to her heart, as if some pang had taken it. 

" Barley ! " she repeated. " Edwin Barley ! Do you know 
whether he comes fom Hallam ? " 

" Hallam ?— Hallam ? " debated Mr. Dexter with himself, in 
consideration. "Yes, that is the place he comes from. I 
remember now. ' Edwin Barley, Esquire, of the Oaks, Hallam.' 
That's the address in the deed of agreement. Good-day, my 
lady." 

She did not attempt to detain him. With the look of awful 
consternation on her livid face, she turned to come back. I 
slipped into the dining-room, and sat down in a shady nook by 
the piano, hoping not to have been seen. The cloth was laid, 
but no servants were in the room. Only Mr. Chandos, and ho 
stood at a side-table looking into his desk, his back to the room. 

" Hai-ry ! Harry ! " 

Turning at the tones of unmistakable terror, Mr. Chandos 
came swiftly to his mother, and took her hand. 

" The new tenant," she gasped — and I think it was the only 
time I ever saw Lady Chandos excited ; she, who imparted 
always the idea of calmness intensified; who had reproached 
Mrs. Chandos with allowing emotion to sway her ! " The man 
by oiu" entrance-gates ! " 



18G ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Yes, yes ! wliat of him ? " cried Mr. Cliaudos, when she 
stopped from pain. " My dear mother, what has alarmed you ? " 

" It is Edwin Barley." 

" Who V " almost shouted Mr. C'haudos. 

" Edwin Barley. Here at our very gates ! " . 

Whatever calamity the words might imply, it seemed almost 
to overwhelm Mr. Chandos. He dropped his mother's hands, 
and stood looking at her. 

" Is the agreement signed, Harry ? " 

" Yes." 

" Then we cannot get rid of him ! What can have brought 
him here ? Here, of all places in the world ! Chance, thinlc 
you?" 

"No. Chance it cannot have been. I told you the new 
tenant had an ill-favoured face. He " 

Mr. Chandos stopped : Hickens and the footman were coming 
in. The soi;p was 2iut on the table, and we sat down to dinner. 
As I moved forward from my corner, quietly and unobtrusively, 
looking as if I had neither seen nor heard. Lady Chandos 
tu.rned to me with a start, a red flush darkening her cheeks. 
But I do not believe she knows, to this hour, whether I had 
been present during the scene, or had come in Avith the soup 
and the servants. 

Dinner was eaten in almost total silence. Lady and Mr, 
Chandos "were absorbed in their own thoughts ; I in mine. 
The chance words of the agent, " Mr Edwin Barley of the 
Oaks," had disclosed the fact that the simple-minded old man 
who had been so kind to me was dead, and his brother reigned 
in his stead, lord of all. A rich man, indeed, Edwin Barley 
must be. 1 think the servants in waiting must have seen that 
something was amiss ; though, perhaps, the silence did not 
strike upon them so ominously as it did on my own self- 
consciousness. 

You cannot liave failed to note — and 1 think 1 have said it— 
that there was little ceremony observed in the everyday life at 
(Jhandos. Ten minutes after dinner, tea was rung for. Lady 
Chandos sat whilst it was brought in, and the dessert taken 
away. 



THE NEW TENANT BY THE LODGE-GATES. 187 

" Will yoii oblige mc by presiding at tea this evening, Miss 
Hereford ? " 

Had Lady Chandos not preferred the rec^uest at onco, I 
should have withdrawn to my own room, with an excuse that 
I did not wish for any tea. How miserably uncomfortable I 
felt, sitting with them, an intei'loper, when I knew they must 
want to be talking together, and wore wishing me, naturally, at 
the other end of the earth, none but myself can tell. I poured 
out the tea. Lady Chandos drank one cuj), and rose. 

" I must go to sit with Ethel, Harry. Will you come ? " 

" She does not want me," was his reply. And Lady Chandos 
left the room. 

He let his tea stand until it was quite cold, evidently for- 
getting it : forgetting ail but his own thoughts. I sat in 
patient silence. Awakening later out of his reverie, he drank 
it at a draught, and rang the bell for the things to be taken 
away. As the man left the room with them, I haj)pcned to look 
at Mr. Chandos, who was then standing near the manteli^icce, 
and caught his eyes fixed on me, something peculiar in their 
expression. 

" Ml*. Chandos," I took courage to say, " I am very sorry to 
be in this position — an intruder here." 

" And but for one thing I should be very glad of it," Mas his 
ready answer. " It is a pleasant in-break on our monotonous 
life." 

" And that one thing, sir ? " 

" Ah ! I cannot tell you all my secrets," he said, \Yith a light 
laugh. " Do you make yourself at home, young lady. But for 
your l)ook, tliat I know you are longing to be reading again, I 
should have compunction at leaving you alone." 

He quitted the room, laughing still. I reached the book he 
alluded to, and sat down again. But I could not read ; the 
surprise was too new, and thought upon thought kept crowding 
upon me. They evidently had cause to fear Edwin Barley, far 
more than I ; perhaps then, after all, he had not- come here to 
look after me? What the matter or the mystery could be, 
I knew not: but unmistakably there was something wrong 
between him and Chandos. 



188 ANNE HEREFORD. 

It was turned half-past ten wlien Lady Chandos came back 
again to the oak-parlotir. I had returned to my book then, and 
was buried in it. Mr. Chandos followed her almost imme- 
diately, and began to wish us good^night. 

" You must be tired, Harry," she observed. " You have had 
a fatiguing day." 

" I am tired," was his rcidy. " I shall sloop to-night without 
rocking. Good-night, mother ; good-night, Miss Hereford." 

He loft the room. Lady Chandos said she was tired too, and 
she and I went out together. Mr. Chandos, who had stayed in 
the hall, speaking to Hickens, went up just before us, entered 
his room and closed the door. I turned into mine ; and I heard 
Lady Chandos traverse the long gallery and shut herself into 
the west wing. 

Instead of undressing, what should I do but put back the 
curtains and shutters, sit down and open my book again. Only 
for two minutes, of course, said I to my conscience. It was 
that most charming of all romances, whether of Scott's or of 
others', " The Bride of Lammermoor," which Mr. Chandos had 
given me out the previous day. The two minutes grew into — 
but that I have to do it, I should not confess how many, 
especially as I could only guess at the number. My watch — 
the pretty watch of Selina's, given me so long ago by Mr. 
Edwin Barley — had latterly acquired a trick of stopping. It 
had been so delightful ! sitting there with that enchanting 
romance, the window open to the bright night and balmy air. 

Perhaps, after all, it was not more than twelve o'clock. I 
wound uj) the defaulting watch, shook it until it went again ; 
set it at twelve by guess, and undressed slowly, and in silence. 
Then, putting out the light, I threw on a warm shawl, and 
leaned out of the window for a last look, before closing it. 
Which, of course, was a very senseless proceeding, although 
romantic. If Mademoiselle Annette could have seen me ! 

I stayed there, lost in thought ; various interests jumbling 
themselves together in my mind. Lucy Ashton and the Master 
of Eavenswood ; my own uncertain future and present dis- 
agreeable position ; the curious mysteries that seemed to 
envelop ( 'handos ; and the ominous proximity of Mr. Edwin 



THE NEW TEiNANT BY THE LODGE-GATES. 189 

Barley. As I leaned against the corner of the window, still as 
a statue, I was startled by observing a movement in the garden. 

And a very extraordinary movement, too, if it was that of a 
rational being. Something dark, the height of a tall man, 
appeared to emerge from the clusters of trees skirting the lawn 
opposite, apjiroach a few steps, and then dart in again ; and this 
was repeated over and over again, the man advancing always 
nearer to the other end of the house. It was like the motions 
of one who wished to come on, yet feared being seen ; a full 
minute he stood within those dark trees, each time that he 
penetrated them. 

I watched, still as a mouse, and gazed eagerly, feeling like 
one chilled with a sudden fear. It was certainly very singular. 
When opposite the west wing, he stood for a minute out on the 
open greensward, and took off his round broad-brimmed hat as 
he looked up at the windows. Then I recognized the features 
of Mr. Chandos. He wore a short cloak, which in a degree 
hid his figure ; but there was no mistaking the face, for the 
moon shone full upon it. The next moment he crossed the 
grass, and disappeared within the narrow laurel path that led 
to the private entrance of the west wing. 

How had he got out of his room ? That he had not come 
out by its door, I felt sure ; for I had been so silent that I must 
have heard it, had it opened ; besides, that door of his would 
only open with a creaking noise. If there was another door to 
his apartment, it must lead into the wing inhabited by Mrs. 
Chandos. Why had he been dodging about in that strange 
way in the grounds ? and put on a cloak and broad hat to do 
it in, just as if he wished to disguise himself? And what could 
he want in the apartments of Lady Chandos in the middle of 
the night ? Truly there tvas mystery at Chandos. But I could 
not solve it, and went to bed. 

" Good-morning, Miss Hereford." 

The salutation came from Mr. Chandos, who was following 
me into the breakfast-room, having that instant quitted his 
own. I was going quickly ; so was he ; for we were late, and 
Lady Chandos liked punctuality. But she was not in the oak- 
parlour. 



190 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" That's riglit," lie cried, wlien he saw the room empty. " I 
hope my mother has overslept herself too, and had as good a 
night as I have." 

" Have yon had a good night, sir V " came the involuntary 
question. 

" Too good : a man does not want eight or nine hours' sleep. 
I dropped asleep the minute I got into bed last night ; did not 
even hear my clock strike eleven, though it only wanted a few 
minutes to it ; and I never vroke until twenty minutes to eight 
this morning. I was very tired last night." 

Was Mr. Chandos mystifying me ? Somehow it caused me 
vexation. My eyes had a resentful expression as I fixed them on 
his ; which, of course, they had no right in the world to have. 

" You did not go to sleep at eleven o'clock, sir." 

" Indeed I did. Miss Hereford." 

" Then you must have got up again, sir." 

" Nothing of the sort ! Why do you say that ? I never 
woke until this morning." 

Standing thei'c and deliberately saying this to my face, with 
every appearance of truth, could only be done to mislead — to 
deceive me. I had far rather he had struck me a blow ; though 
why, I did not stay to ask myself. 

" Mr. Chandos, I saw you in the grounds in the middle of 
the night ! " 

" Saw me in the grounds in the middle of the night ! " he 
echoed. " You were dreaming. Miss Hereford." 

" No, sir ; I was wide awake. It must have been getting on 
for one o'clock. You had on a. cloak and a low broad-brimmed 
hat, and were dodging in and out of the trees." 

" What trees ? " 

" Those oi^posite." 

" Wearing a cloak and broad hat, and dodging in and out of 
the opjiosite trees ! Well, lliat is good, Miss Hereford ! " 

His face wore an amused expression : his dark eyes — and 
they were looking dark as purple in the morning light — were 
dancing with mirth. I turned cross. Some foolish thought, 
that Mr. Chandos would make a confidant of me in the morning, 
had run into my mind in the night. 



THE NEW TENANT BY THE LODGE-GATES. 191 

" I don't possess a cloak, young lady." 

" At any rate, sir, I saw you in one. A short one ; a sort 
of cape. I saw your face quite plainly when you were looking 
\vp at the windows. The moon was as bright as day, and 
shining full upon you." 

" It must decidedly have been my ghost, Miss Hereford." 

"No, sir ; it was yourself. I don't believe in ghosts. When 
you had finished your dance in and out of the trees, you 
crossed the grass to the laurel walk that leads down by the 
west wing." 

" What do you say ? " 

The tone was an abrupt one; the manner had entirely 
changed : something like a glance of fear shot across the face 
of Mr. Chandos. But at that moment Hill came in. 

" So you arc back again. Hill ! " he exclaimed. 

" 1 have been back an hour, sir. Mrs. Freeman's no worse, 
and I came by the Parliamentary train. And it is well I did 
come," added she, " for I found my lady ill ! " 

Mr. Chandos swung himself round on his heel. " My 
mother ill ! what is the matter with her ? " 

" Well, sir, I hardly know. 1 came to ask you to go up and 
see her." 

" She was very well last night," he observed, striding upstairs 
on his way to the west wing. 

" You had better begin breakfast, miss," Hill said to uie. " My 
lady won't be clo^^oi ; I'll go and order it in." 

" Am I to send any up to Lady Chandos, Hill '? " 

" I have taken my lady's breakfast up," was her answer. 

The tea and coffee came in, and I waited ; waited, and 
waited. When I had nearly given Mr. Chandos up, he came. 
His face was pale, troubled, and he appeared lost in inward 
thought. I'rom the signs, I gathered that Lady Chandos's 
malady was serious. 

" I fear you have found Lady Chandos worse than you anti- 
cipated, sir ? " 

"Yes — no — yes — not exactly," was the contradictory answer. 
" I hope it is nothing dangerous," he more collectedly added ; 
" but she will not be able to leave her rooms to-day." 



19^ ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Is she in bed, sir ? " 

" No ; she is sitting up. My tea ? thank you. You should 
not have waited for me, Miss Hereford." 

He took his breakfast in silence, ringing once for Hickens, 
to ask after a paper that ought to have come. Afterwards ho 
quitted the room, and I saw him go strolling across to the Pine 
Walk. 



CHAPTER XV. 

IN THE IRONING-ROOM. 

" Will you allow mo to repose a word of confidence in yon. 
Miss Hereford, and at the same time to tender an apology ? " 

Playing a little bit of quiet harmony, reading a little, musing 
a little, half-an-hour had passed, and I was leaning my back 
against the frame of the open window. Mr. Chandos had come 
across the grass unheard by me, and took me by surprise. 

I turned, and stammered forth " Yes." His tones were 
cautious and low, as though he feared eavesdroi3i)ers, though no 
one was within hearing ; or could have been, without being seen. 

" You accused me of wandering out there last night," he 
began, sitting on the stone ledge of the window outside, his 
face turned to me, " and I rashly denied it to you. As it is 
within the range of j^ossibility that you may see me there 
again at the same ghostly hour, I have been deliberating 
whether it may not be the wiser plan to impart to you the 
truth. You have heard of sleeji-walkers ? " 

" Yes," I replied, staring at him. 

" What will you say if I acknowledge to being one ? '* 

Of course I did not know what to say, and stood there like a 
statue, looking foolish. The thought that rushed over my 
heart was, what an unhappy misfortune to attend the sensible 
and otherwise attractive Mr. Chandos. 

"You see," he continued, "when you spoke, I did not know 
I had been out, and denied it, really believing you were mis* 
taken." 



IN THE IRONING-ROOM. 193 

" And do you positively walk in your sleep, sir ? — go out of 
your room, out of the locked doors of tlie house, and pace tho 
grounds '? " I breathlessly esclainied. 

" Ay. Not a pleasant endowment, is it ? Stranger things 
are heard of some who possess it : they spirit themselves on to 
the roofs of houses, to the tops of chimneys, and contrive to 
spirit themselves down again, without coming to harm. So far 
as I am aware, I have never yet attempted those ambitious 
feats." 

" Does Lady Chandos know of this ? " 

" Of course. My mother saw me last night, I find : she felt 
unable to sleep, she says, thinking of poor Mrs, Freeman, and 
rose from her bed. It was a light night, and she drew aside 
her curtains and looked from tho window. But for her 
additional testimony, I might not have believed you yet. Miss 
Hereford." 

" You seemed to be making for her apartments, sir — for the 
little door in the laurel walk." 

" Did I ■? " he carelessly rejoined. " What freak guided my 
steps thither, I wonder ? Did you see me come back again ? " 

" No, sir. I did not stay much longer at the window." 

" I dare say I came back at once. A pity you missed the 
sight a second time," he continued, with a laugh that sounded 
very much like a forced one. " Having decorated myself with 
a cloak and broad hat, I must have been worth seeing. I really 
did not know tliat I had a cloak in my dressing-closet, but I 
find there is an old one." 

He sat still, pulling to pieces a white rose and scattering its 
petals one by one. His eyes seemed to seek any object rather 
than mine ; his dark hair, looking in some lights almost purple 
like his eyes, was impatiently pushed now and again from his 
brow. Altogether, there was something in Mr. Chandos that 
morning that jarred upon me— something that did not seem true. 

"I cannot think, sir, how you could have gone down so 
quietly from your room. For the first time since I have been 
in your house — for the first time, I think, in my whole life — I 
sat \\]) reading last night, and yet I did not hear you ; unless, 
indeed, you descended by some exit through the cast wing." 

Anne Hereford. 1«J 



194 ANNE HEEEFORD. 

" Oh, you don't know liow quiet and cunning sleep-walkers 
are ; the stillness with which they carry on their migrations is 
incredible," was his rejoinder. " You must never be surprised 
at anything they do." 

But I noticed one thing : that he did not deny the existence 
of a second door. In spite of his plausible reasoning, I could 
not divest myself of the conviction that he had not left his 
chamber by the entrance near mine. 

" Is it a nightly occurrence, sir ? " 

" What — my walking about ? Oh dear, no ! Months and 
years sometimes elapse, and I have nothing of it. The last 
time I ' walked '• — is not that an ominous word for the suj)er- 
Btitious ? — must be at least two years ago." 

" And then only for one night, sir ? " 

" For more than one," he replied, a strangely-grave expression 
settling on his countenance. " So, if you see me again, Miss 
Hereford, do not be alarmed, or think that I have taken sudden 
leave of my senses." 

" Mr. ChandoSj can nothing be done for you ? To prevent 
it, I mean." 

" Nothing at all." 

" If — if Lady Chandos, or one of the men-servants were to 
lock you in the room at night ? " I timidly suggested. 

" And if I — finding exit stopped that way — were to precipitate 
myself from the window, in my unconsciousness, what then, 
Miss Hereford '? " 

" Ohj don't talk of it ! " I said, hiding my eyes with a shudder. 
" I do not understand these things : I spoke in ignorance." 

" Hajjpily few do understand them," he replied. " I have 
given you this in strict confidence. Miss Herefi>rd ; you will, I 
am sure, so regard it. No one knows of it except my mother ; 
but she would not like you to speak of it to her." 

" Certainly not. Then the servants do not know it ? " 

" Not one of them : not even Hill. It would be most dis- 
agreeable to me were the unpleasant fact to reach them ; neither 
might they be willing to remain in a house where there Avas a 
sleep-walker. The last time the roving fit was ii2:)on mc, some 
of them unfortunately saw me from the upper window ; they 



IN THE IRONING-ROOM. 195 

recognized me, and came to the conclusion, by some subtle 
force of reasoning, explainable only by themselves, that it was 
my ' fetch,' or ghost. It Avas the first time I had ever heard of 
ghosts of the living appearing," ho added, with a slight laugh. 

" Do you think they saw you last night ? " was my next 
(j^uestion. 

"I hoi)e not," he replied, in tones meant to be light, but 
that, to my ear, told of ill-concealed anxiety. 

" But — Mr. (Jliandos ! — there are no windows in the servants' 
part of the house that look this Avay ! " I exclaimed, the 
recollection flashing on me. 

" There is one. That small Gothic window in the turret. 
The fear that some of them may have been looking out is 
worrying my mother." 

" It is that, perhaps, that has made Lady C'handos ill." 

" Yes ; they took me for my own ghost," he resumed^ ap- 
parently not having heard the remark. " You now perceive, 
jjossibly, why I have told you this. Miss Hereford ? You would 
not bo likely to adopt the ghostly view of the affair, and might 
have si>oken of what you saw in the hearing of the servants, or 
of strangers. You have now the secret : will you keep it ? " 

"With my whole heart, sir," was my impulsive rejoinder. 
" No allusion to it shall ever pass my lips." And Mr. Chandos 
took my hand, held it for a moment, and then departed, leaving 
me to digest the revelation. 

It was a strange one ; and I asked myself whether this 
physical infirmity, attaching to him, was the cause of what had 
appeared so mysterious at Chandos. That it might account 
for their not wishing to have strangers located at Chandos, 
sleeping in the house, was highly probable. Why ! was not I 
myself an illustration of the case in point ? I, a young girl, 
but a week or so in the house, and it had already become 
expedient to entrust me with the secret ! Oh yes ! no wonder, 
no wonder that they shunned visitors at Chandos ! To me it 
seemed a most awful aflliction. 

As I quitted the oak-parlour and went upstairs. Hill stood 
in the gallery. 

" Lady Chandos is up, I understand. Hill ? " 



196 ANNE HEREFORD. 

'- Well, I don't know where you could have understood tliat," 
was Hill's rejoinder, spoken in sullen and resentful tones. 
" My lady n\), indeed ! ill as sko is ! If she's out of her bod in 
a week hence it will bo time enough. I don't think she will 
be." 

I declare that the words so astonished me as to take my 
senses temporarily away, and Hill was gone before I could 
speak again. Which of the two told the truth, Mr. Chandos or 
Ilill ? He said his mother was up ; Hill said she was not, and 
would not be for a week to come. 

Meanwhile Hill had traversed the gallery, and disappeared 
within the west wing, closing the grecn-baize door sharply 
after her. I stood in deliberation. Ought I, or ought I not, 
to proifer a visit to Lady Chandos '?^to inquire if I could do 
anything for her. It seemed to me that it would be respectful 
so to do, and I moved forward and knocked gently at the 
green-baize door. 

There came no answer, and I knocked again — and again ; 
softly always. Then I pushed it open and entered. I found 
myself in a narrow passage, richly carpeted, with a handsome 
oak door before me. I gave a stout knock at that, and the 
latch of the green-baize door closed with a sharp sound. Out 
rushed Hill. If ever terror was pictured on a woman's face, 
it was so in hers then. 

" Heaven and earth, Miss Hereford ! Do you want to send 
me into my grave with fright ? " ejaculated she. 

" I have not frightened you ! What have I done ? " 

" Done ? Do you know, miss, that no soul is permitted to 
enter these apartments when my lady is ill, except myself and 
Mr. Chandos ? I knew it was not he ; and I thought — I 
thought — I don't know what I did not think. Be so good, 
miss, as not to serve me so again." 

Did she take me for a wild tiger, tliat she made all that fuss ? 
" I wish to see Lady Chandos," I said, aloud. 

" Then you can't see her, miss," was the peremjjtory retort. 

" That is, if it be agreeable to her to receive me," I continued, 
resenting Hill's assumption of authority. 

"But it is not agreeable, and never can be agreeable," re- 



IN THE IHONING-ROOM. 197 

turned Hill, working herself up to a great pitch of excitement. 
" Don't I tell you, Miss Hereford, my lady never receives in 
these rooms? Perhaps, miss, you'll be so good as to f^uit 
them." 

" At least you can take my message to Lady C'handos, and 
inquire whether " 

"I can't deliver any message, and I decline to make any 
inqxTiries," interrujited Hill, evidently in a fever of anxiety for 
my absence. " Excuse me. Miss Hereford, but you mil please 
return by the way you came." 

Who should appear next on the scene but Lady Chandos ! 
She came from beyond the oak door, as Hill had done, ap- 
parently wondering at the noise. I was thunderstruck. She 
looked quite well, and wore her usual dress ; but she went 
back again at once, and it was but a momentary glimpse I had 
of her. Hill made no ceremony. She took me by the shoulders 
as you would take a child, turned me towards the entrance, and 
bundled me out ; shutting the green-baize door with a slam, 
and proj)ping her. back against it. 

" Now Miss Hereford, you must pardon me ; and remember 
your obstinacy has just brought this upon yourself. I couldn't 
help it ; for to have suifered you to talk to my lady to-day 
would have been almost a matter of life or death." 

" I think you are out of your mind, Hill," I gasped, recover- 
ing my breath, but not my temper, after the summary exit. 

'• Pcrliaps I am, miss ; let it go so. All I have got to say, 
out of my mind or in my mind, is this : never you attemjjt to 
enter this west wing. The rooms in it are sacred to my lady, 
whose pleasure it is to keep them strictly private. And 
intrusion here, after this warning, is what would never be 
pardoned to you by any of the family, if you lived to be ninety 
years old ! " 

" Hill, you take too much upon yourself," was my indignant 
answer. 

" If I do, my lady will correct mc ; so do not trouble your 
mind about that, Miss Hereford. I have not been her con- 
fidential attendant for sixteen years to be taught my duty now. 
And when I advise you to keep at a distance from these apart- 



198 ANNE HEREFORD. 

mcnts, miss, I advise you fcr your own good. If you are wise, 
you will heed it : ask Mr. Cliaudos.' 

She returned within the wing, and I heard a strong bolt 
slipped, effectually barring my entrance, had I felt inclined to 
disobey her ; but I never felt less inclined for anything in my 
life than to do that. Certainly her warning had been solemnly 
sjioken. 

Now, who was insane ? — I ? or Lady Chandos ? or Hill ? It 
seemed to mc that it must bo one of us, for assuredly all this 
savoured of insanity. What was it that ailed Lady Chandos ? 
That she v/as perfectly well in health, I felt persuaded ; and 
she was up and dressed and active ; no symptom whatever of 
the invalid was about her. Could it be that her mind was 
affected ? or was she so overcome with grief at the previous 
night's exploits of Mr. Chandos as to be obliged to remain in 
retirement ? The latter suj^position appeared the more feasible 
—and I weighed the case in all its bearings. 

But not quite feasible, cither. For Hill apjiearcd to be full 
mistress of the subject of the mystery, whatever it might be, 
and Mr. Chandos had said she had no suspicion of his malady. 
And, besides, would it bo enough to keep Lady Chandos in for 
a week ? I dwelt upon it all until my head ached ; and, to get 
rid of my perjilexities, I went strolling into the open air. 

It was a fine sunshiny day, and the blue tint of the bloom 
upon the pine trees looked lovely in the gleaming liglit. I 
turned down a shady path on the left of the broad gravel drive, 
midway between the house and the entrance-gates. It took mc 
to a part of the grounds where I had never yet penetrated, 
remote and very solitary. The path was narrow, scarcely 
admitting of two persons passing each other, and the i)rivet 
hedge on either side, with tlie overhanging trees, imparted to it 
an air of excessive gloom. The patli wound in its course ; in 
turning one of its angles, I came riglit in the face of some one 
advancing ; some one who was so close as to touch me : and my 
heart leaped into my moutli. It was Mr. Edwin Barley. 

" Good-morning, young lady." 

" Good-morning, sir," I stammered, sick almost unto death, 
lest he should recognize me ; though why that excessive dread 



IN THE IRONING-ROOM. 199 

of his recognition sliould be upon me, I could not possibly have 
explained. He was again trespassing on Chandos ; but it was 
not for nic, in my timidity, to tell him so ; neither had I any 
business to set myself forward in ujiholding the rights of 
( 'handos. 

" All well at the house ? " he continued. 

"Yes, thank you. All, except Lady Chandos. She keeps 
her room this morning." 

" You are a visitor at Chandos, I presume ? " 

" For a little time, sir." 

" So I judged, when I saw you with Harry Chandos. That 
you were not Miss Chandos, who married the Frenchman, I 
knew, for you bear no resemblance to her : and she is the only 
daughter of the family. I fancied they did not welcome 
strangers at Chandos." 

I made no answer ; though he looked at me with his jet-black 
eyes as if waiting for it ; the same stern, penetrating eyes as of 
old. How I wished to get away ! but it was impossible to pass 
him without rudeness, and he stood blocking up the confined 
pathway. 

" Are you a confidential friend of the family V ' ' he resumed. 

" No, sir ; 1 am not to be call-cd a friend at all ; quite other- 
wise. Until a few days ago, I was a stranger to tliem. Accident 
brought me then to Chandos, but my stay here will be tem- 
porary." 

" I should be glad to make your acquaintance by name," ho 
went on, never taking those terrible eyes oft' me. Not that the 
eyes in themselves were so very terrible ; but the fear of my 
childhood had returned to me in all its force — as a very bug- 
bear. I had made the first acquaintance of Mr. Edwin Barley 
in a moment of fear — that is, he had frightened me. Un- 
intentionally on his own part, it is true, but with not less of 
eftect upon me. The circumstances of horror (surely it is not 
too strong a word) tliat had followed, in all of which he was 
mixed up, had only tended to increase the feeling ; and grown 
to womanhood though I was now, the meeting with him had 
brought it all back to me." 

" Will you not favour me with your name ? " 



200 ANNE HERErORI). 

He spoke politely, quite as a gentleman, but I felt my face 
grow red, white, hot and cold. I had answered his questions, 
feeling that I dared not resist ; that I feared to show him any- 
thing but civility ; but— to give him my name ; to rush, as it 
were, into the lion's jaws ! No, I would not do that ; and I 
plucked up what courage was left me. 

" My name is of no consequence, sir, I am only a very 
humble individual, little moi'e than a scliool-girl. I was 
brought here by a lady, who, immediately iqiou her arrival, was 
recalled home by illness in her family, and I am in daily 
expectation of a summons from her ; after which I dare say I 
shall never see Chandos or any of its inmates again. Will you 
be kind enough to allow me to pass ? " 

"You must mean Miss Chandos— I don't recollect her 
married name," said he, without stirring. " I heard she had 
been here : and left almost as soon as she came." 

I bowed my head and tried to pass him. I might as readily 
have tried to pass through the privet hedge. 

" Some lady was taken away ill, yesterday," he resumed. 
" Who was it ? " 

" It was Mrs. Freeman." 

" Oh ! the comjiauion. I thouglit as much. Is she very ill?" 

" It was a sort of fit, I believe. It did not last long." 

" Those fits are ticklish tilings," he rem.arked. " I sliould 
think she will not be in a state to return for some time, if at 
all." 

He liad turned his eyes away now, and was speaking in a 
dreamy sort of tone ; as I once heard him speak to Selina. 

" They will be wanting some one to fill Mrs. Freeman's 
place, will they not." 

" I cannot say, I'm sure, sir. The fiimily do not talk of 
their affairs before me." 

" Who is staying at Chandos nov/ ? " he abruptly asked. 

" Only the family." 

" All ! tlie family — of course. I mean what members of it." 

" All ; except Madame de Mellissie and Sir Thomas Chandos." 

" That is, there are Lady Chandos, her son, and daughter-in- 
law. That comprises the whole, I suppose — except you." 



IN tHE IRONING-EOOM. 201 

'* Yes, it does. But I must really beg you to allow mc to 
pass, sir." 

" You are welcome now, and I am going to turn, myself. It 
is pleasant to have met an intelligent lady; and I hope we 
often shall meet, that I may hear good tidings of my friends at 
Chandos. I was intimate witli part of the family once, but a 
coolness arose between us, and I do not go there. Good-day." 

He turned and walked rapidly back. I struck into the 
nearest side-walk I could find that Avould bring me to the open 
grounds, and nearly struck against Mr. Chandos. 

" Are you alone. Miss Hereford ? I surely heard voices." 

" A gentleman met me, sir, and spoke." 

" A gentleman— in this remote part of the grounds ! " ho re- 
peated, looking keenly at me, as a severe expression passed 
momentarily across his face. " Was it any one you knew ? " 

" It was he who came into the broad walk, and whom you 
ordered out — the new tenant. He is gone now." 

" He ! I fancied so," returned Mr. Chandos, the angry flush 
deepening. And it seemed almost as though he were angry 
with me. 

" I found out the walk by accident, sir, and I met him in it. 
He stopped and accosted me with several questions, which I 
thought very rude of him." 

" What did he ask you ? " 

" He wished to know my name, who I was, and what I was 
doing at Chandos ; but I did not satisfy him. He then inquired 
about the family, asking what members of it were at home." 

" And you told him ? " 

" There was no need to tell him, sir, for he mentioned the 
names to me ; yourself. Lady and Mrs. Chandos." 

" Ethel ! he mentioned her, did he ! What did he call her ? 
— Mrs. Chandos ? " 

" He did not mention her by name, sir ; he said ' daughter-in- 
law.' " I did not tell Mr. Chandos that the designation made 
an impression upon me, establishing the supposition that Mrs. 
( handos teas a daughter-in-law. 

" And pray what did he call mc ? " 

" Harry Chandos." 



202 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Well, now mark me, Miss Hereford. That man accosted 
you to worm out what he could of our everyday life at home. 
His name is Barley — Edwin Barley. He is a bitter enemy of 
ours, and if he could pick up any scrap of news or trifle of fact 
tliat he couLl l)y possibility turn about and work so as to injure 
us, he would do it." 

" But how could he, sir ? " I exclaimed, not understanding. 

" His suspicions are no doubt aroused that — that — I beg 
your pardon, Miss Hereford," he abruptly broke off, with the air 
of one who has said more than he meant to say. " These 
matters cannot interest you. You — you did not tell Mr. Barley 
what I imparted to you this morning, touching myself?" 

" Oh, Mr. Chandos, how can you ask the question ? Did I 
not promise you to hold it sacred ? " 

" Forgive me," he gently said. " Nay, I am sorry to have 
pained you." 

He had pained me in no slight degree, and the tears very 
nearly rose in my eyes. I would rather be beaten with rods 
than have my good faith slighted. I think Mr. Chandos saw 
something of this in my face. 

" Believe me, I do not doubt you for a moment ; but Edwin 
Barley, in all that regards our family, is cunning and crafty. 
Be iipon your guard, should he stop you again, not to betray 
anything of our aifairs at Chandos, the little daily occurrences 
of home life. A chance word, to all appearance innocent and 
trifling, might work incalculable mischief to us, even ruin. Will 
you remember this, Miss Hereford ? " 

I promised him I would, and went back to the house, ho 
continuing his way. At the end of the privet walk a gate led 
to the open country, and I supposed Mr. I'handos had business 
there. As I reached the portico a gentleman was standing there 
with the butler, asking to see Lady Chandos. It was Mr. 
Jarvis, the curate. 

" My lady is ill in bed, sir," was Hickens's reply, his long, 
grave face giving ample token that he held belief in his own 
words. 

" I am sorry to hear that. Is her illness serious ? " 

" Rather so, sir, I believe. Mrs. Hill fears it will be days 



IN THE IRONING-ROOM. 203 

before her ladyship is downstairs. She used to be subject to 
dreadful bilious attacks ; I suppose it's one of them come back 
again." 

The ciu'ate gave in. a card, left a message, and departed. So 
it ai)peared that Hill was regaling the servants with the same 
story that she had told me. I could have spoken up, had I 
dared, and said there was nothing the matter with the health of 
Lady Chandos. 

At six o'clock I went down to dinner, vrondering who would 
jn-eside. I have said that no ceremony was observed at 
Chandos, the everyday life was simple in the extreme. Since 
the departure of Emily de Mellissie we had sat in the oak- 
parlour, and all the meals were taken there. In fact, there was 
nobody to sit but myself. Lady Chandos had been mostly in 
the west wing ; Mr. Chandos cat, or in his study ; Mrs. Chandos 
I never saw. The servants were i)lacing the souj) on the table. 
In another moment Mr. ( handos came in. 

" A small company this evening, Miss Hereford ; only you 
and I," he laughed, as we took our seats. 

" Is Lady Chandos not sufficiently well to dine, sir ? " I 
asked. 

" She will take something, no doubt. Hill takes care of her 
mistress. I met her carrying up the tray as I came down." 

" I hoj)e I am not the cause of your dining downstairs," I re- 
joined, the unpleasant thought striiiing me that it might be so. 
" Perhaps, but for me, you would dine with Lady Chandos ? " 

" Nothing of the sort, I assure you. Were it not fur you, I 
should sit here in solitary state, and eat my lonely dinner witli 
what appetite I might. And a solitary dinner is not good for 
digestion, the doctors tell us. Did any one call while I was out, 
Hickens V " 

" Only Mr. Jarvis, sir. " I tliiuk he wanted to see my lady 
about the new schools. He was very particular in asking what 
was the matter with her, and I said I thought it might be one 
of those old bilious attacks come on again. My lady had a bad 
one or two at times, years ago, sir, you may remember." 

" Ay," replied Mr. Chandos : but it was all the comment he 
made. 



204 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Is Lady Chandos subject to bilious attacks ? " 1 inq^Uircd of 
Mr. Chandos. 

" Not particularly. Slie has been free from tbem latterly." 

" Did you know, sir," continued Hickens, " tbat we have had 
news of Mrs. Freeman ? " 

" No. When did it come ? I hope it's good." 

" Not very good, sir. It came half-an-hour ago. She had 
another fit to-day in the forenoon, and it's certain now that 
she won't be able to come back here for a long wliilc, if she is 
at all. The relation that she is with wrote to Mrs. Hill, who 
took up the note to my lady. Hill says, when she left her 
there were symptoms of a second attack coming on." 

Mr. Chandos leaned back for a moment in his chair, forgetful 
tliat he was at dinner, and not alone. He was in a reverie ; 
but, as his eye fell on me, he shook it off, and spoke. 

"Her not returning will prove an inconvenience to Mrs. 
Chandos." 

" I am afraid it will, sir," rejoined Hickens, who had fancied 
himself addressed ; though, in point of fact, Mr. Chandos had 
but unconsciously spoken aloud his thoughts. Hickens had 
been a long time in the family, was a faithful and valued ser- 
vant, consequently he thought himself at liberty to talk in 
season and out of season. " I warned Mrs. Chandos's maid, sir, 
not to tell her mistress about Mrs. Freeman's being worse," he 
went on. " It would do no good, and only worrit her." 

Mr. Chandos slightly nodded, and the dinner then proceeded 
in silence. At its conclusion, Mr. Chandos, after taking one 
glass of wine, rose. 

" I must aiwlogize for leaving you alone, Miss Hereford, but I 
believe my mother will expect me to sit with her. Be sure you 
make yourself at home ; and ring for tea when you wish for it." 

" Shall you not be in to tea, sir ? " 

" I think not. At all events, don't wait." 

Dreary enough was it for me, sitting in that great solitary 
room — not solitary in itself, but from want of tenants, 

I went and stood at the window. The wax-lights were bu n- 
ing, but nothing but the muslin curtains was before the windows. 
There was no one to overlook the room ; comers to the house 



IN THE IRONING-ROOM, 205 

did not pass it ; the servants had no business whatever in the 
front ; and very often the shutters were not closed until bed- 
time. It was scarcely yet to be called dark : the atmosphere 
was calm and clear, and a bright white light came from the 
west. Putting on a shawl, I went quietly out. 

It was nearly, for me, as dreary out of doors as within. All 
seemed still ; no soul was about ; no voices were to be heard ; 
no cheering lights gleamed from the windows. I was daring 
enough to walk to the end and look up at the west wing ; a 
slight glimmering, as of fire, sparkled up now and again in 
what I had understood was Lady Chandos's sitting-room. Back 
to the east wing, and looked at the end of that. Plenty of 
cheerful blaze there, both of fire and caudle ; and, once, the 
slight form of Mrs. Chandos appeared for a minute at the 
window, looking out. 

I passed on to the back of the house, by the servants' ordi- 
nary path, round the east wing. It was a good ojiportunity for 
seeing what the place was like. But I did not bargain for the 
great flood of light into which I was thrown on turning the 
angle. It proceeded from the corner room ; the windows were 
thrown wide open, and some maid-servants were ironing at a 
long board underneath. Not caring that they should see me, I 
drew under the cover of a projecting shed, that I believe be- 
longed to the brewhouse, and took a leisurely survey. Plenty 
of life here ; plenty of buildings ; it seemed quite a colony. 
Lights shone from several windows of the long edifice — as long 
as it was in front. The entrance was in the middle ; a poultry- 
yard lay at the other end ; and a jiasture for cows oiijiosite ; 
the range of stables could be seen in the distance. 

Harriet and Emma were the two maids ironing ; Lizzy Dene, 
a very dark young woman of thirty, with a bunch of wild- 
looking black curls on either side of her face, sat by the ironing- 
gtove, doing nothing. Why they added her surname, Dene, to 
her Christian name in speaking of her, I did not know, but it 
seemed to be the usual custom. These three, it may be 
remembered, have been mentioned as the housemaids. Another 
woman, whom I did not recognize, but knew her later for the 
laundry-maid, was at the back, folding clothes. They were 



206 ANNE HEREFORD. 

talking fast, but very distinctly, in that half-covert tone which 
betrays the subject to be a forbidden one. The conversation 
and the stove's heat were alike wafted to me through the open 
window. 

" You may j)reach from now until to-morrow morning," were 
tho first words I heard, and they came from Harriet ; " but you 
will never make me believe that jjeople's ghosts can appear 
before they die. It is not in nature's order." 

"U/s api)ears. I'll stand to that. And what's more, I'll 
stand to it that I saw it last night ! " cried Lizzy Dene, looking 
up and speaking in strong, fierce jerks, as she was in the habit 
of doing. " I sat up in the bedroom sewing. It's that new 
black silk polka of mine that I wanted to finish, and if I got it 
about downstairs. Madam Hill would go on above a bit about 
finery. Emma got into bed and lay awake talking, her and 
me. Before I'd done, my piece of candle came to an end, and 
I thought I'd go into Harriet's room and borrow hers. It was 
a lovely night, the moon shone slautways in at the turret- 
window, and something took me that I'd have a look out. So 
I went up the turret-stairs and stood at the casement. I hadn't 
been there a minute before I saw it — the living image of Mr. 
Chandos ! — and I thought I should have swooned away. Ask 
Emma." 

" Well, I say it might have been Mr. Chandos himself, but it 
never was his ghost," argued Harriet. 

" You might be a soft, but I dare say you'd stand to it you 
are not," retorted Lizzy. "Don't I tell you that in the old 
days we saw that apparition when Mr. Harry was safe in his 
bed ? When we knew him to be in his bed with that attack of 
fever he had ? I saw it twice tlicn with my own eyes. And 
once, when Mr. Harry Avas miles and miles away — gone over to 
that French jjlace where Miss Emily was at school — it came 
again. Half the household saw it ; and a fine comnaotion there 
was ! Don't tell me, girl ! I've lived in the family seven 
years. I came here before old Sir Tliomas died." 

There was a pause. Harriet, evidently not discomfited, 
whisked away her iron to the stove, changed it, and came back 
again before she spoke. 



IN THE mONING-ROOM. 207 

" I don't know anything about back times ; tlic present ones 
is enough for me. Did you see this, Emma, last niglit V " 

" Yes, I did," replied Emma, who was a silent and rather 
stupid-looking girl, witli a very retreating chin. " Lizzy Dene 
came rushing back into the room, saying the ghost had come 
again, and I ran after her up to the turret window. Something 
was there, safe enough." 

" Who Avas it like V " 

" Mr. ( 'handos. Tliere was no mistaking him : one does not 
see a tall, thin, ujiright man like him every day. There was 
his face, too, and his beautiful features quite plain ; the moon 
gave a light like day." 

" It was himself, as I said," coolly contended Harriet. 

" It was not," said Lizzy. " Mr. C'handos would no more 
have been dancing in and out of the trees in that fashion, like 
a jack-in-the-box, than he'd try to fly in the air. It was the 
ghost at its tricks again." 

" But the thing is incredible," persisted Harriet. " Let us 
suppose, for argument's sake, that it is Mr. Chandos's ghost 
that walks, what does it come for, Lizzy Dene ? " 

" I never heard that ghosts stooped to explain their motives. 
How should we know why it comes ? " 

" And I never heard yet that ghosts of live people came at 
all," continued Harriet, in recrimination. " And I don't think 
anybody else ever did." 

" But you know that's only your ignorance, Harriet. Cer- 
tain i^eople are born into tlie world with their own fetches or 
wraiths, which appear sometimes with them, sometimes at a 
distance, and Mr. Chandos must be one. I knew a lady's-maid 
of that kind. While she was with her mistress in Scothiud, 
her fetch used to walk about in England, startling acquaintances 
into fits. Some people call 'em doubles." 

" But what's the use of tliem ? " reiterated Harriot ; " Avliut 
do they do ? That's what I want to know." 

" Harriet, don't you be prof^ine, and set up your back against 
spirituous things," rebuked Lizzy Dene. " There was a man 
in our village, over beyond Mardcn, that never could be 
brought to reverence such ; he mocked at 'em like any heathen, 



208 ANNE HEREFORD. 

saying he'd figlit single-handed the best ten ghosts that ever 
walked, for ten pound a-side, and wished he could get the 
chance. What was the awful consequences '? Why, that man, 
going home one night from the beer-shop, marched right into 
the canal in mistake for his own house -door, and was drownded." 

Emma replenished the stove, took a fresh iron, singed a rag 
in riibbing it, and continued her work. Tho woman, folding 
clothes at the back, turned round to speak. 

" How was the notion first taken uj) — that it was Mr. 
Chandos's fetch ? " 

" This way," said Lizzy Dene, who appeared from her longer 
period of service in the family to know more than the rest. 
'• It was about the time of Sir Thomas's death ; just before it, 
or after it, I forget which now. Mr. Harry — as he was mostly 
called when he was younger — was ill with that low fever ; it 
was said something had worried him and brought the sickness 
on. My lady, by token, was jioorly at the same time, and kept 
her rooms ; and, now that I remember. Sir Thomas was dead, 
for she wore her widow's caps. At the very time Mr. Harry 
was in his bed, this figure, his very self, was seen at night in 
the grounds. That was the first of it." 

" If there's one thing more deceptive than another, it's night- 
light," meekly observed the woman. 

" The next time was about two years after that," resumed 
Lizzy, ignoring the suggestion. " Mr. Harry was in France, 
and one of the servants stopped out late one evening without 
leave : Phoeby it was, who's married now. She had missed the 
train and had to walk, and it was between twelve and one 
when she got in, and me and Ann sitting up for her in a 
desperate fright lest Mrs. Hill should find it out. In she 
came, all in a fluster, saying Mr. Harry was in the Pine Walk, 
which she had come across, as being tlie nearest way, and she 
was afraid he had seen her. Of course, we thought it was Mr. 
Harry come home, and that the house Avould be called up to 
serve refreshments for him. But nothing happened ; no bells 
were rung, and to bed we went. The next morning we found 
he had not come home, and finely laughed at Phoeby, asking 
her what slie had taken to obscure her eyesight — which made 



IN THE IRONING-ROOM. 209 

her very mfut. Evening came, and one of tliem telegraph 
messages came over the sea to my lady from Mr. Hurry, 
proving ho was in the French town. But law ! that night, 
there he was in the dark pine-path again, walking up and 
down it, and all us maids sat uj) and saw him. My lady was 
ill again then, I remember ; she does have bad bouts now and 
then." 

" Do you mean to say you all saw him ? " questioned Harriet. 

" We all saw him, foui' or five of us," emphatically repeated 
Lizzy. " Hickens came to hear of it, and called us all the 
simpletons he could lay his tongue to. He told Hill— least- 
ways we never knew who did if he didn't — and didn't she make 
a commotion ! If ever she lieard a syllable of such rubbish 
from us again, she said, wo should all go packing : and she 
locked UJ) the turret-door, and kept the key in her pocket for 
weeks." 

" You see, what staggers one is that Mr. Chaudos should be 
alive," said Harriet. " One could understand if he were dead." 

" Nothing that's connected with ghosts, and those things, 
ought to stagger one at all," dissented Lizzy. 

" According to you, Lizzy Dene, the ghost only ajijiears by 
fits and starts." 

" No more it does. Every two years or so. Anyway it has 
been seen once since the time I tell you of when Mr. Chandos 
was abroad, which is four years ago, and now it's here again." 

" One would think you watched for it, Lizzy ! " 

" And so I do. Often of a moonlight night, I get out of bed 
and go to that turret-window." 

Some one came quickly down the path at this juncture, 
brushing by me as I stood in the shade. It was the still-room 
maid. She had a bundle in her hand, went on to the entrance, 
and then came into the ironing-room. Hill followed her in ; 
but the latter remained at the back, looking at some ironed 
laces on a table, and not one of the girls noticed her iiresence. 
The still-room maid advanced to tlie ironing-board, let her 
bundle fall on it, and threw up her arms in some excitement. 

" I say, you know Mrs. Peters, over at the Ibrook ! Well — 
fehe's dead." 

Anne Ilerefiird. 14 



210 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Dead ! " echoed the girls, pausing in their work. " Why, it 
was not a week ago that she was here." 

" She's dead. They were laying her out when I came by 
just now. Some fever, they say, which took her off in no time ; 
a catcliing fever, too. A mortal fright it put me in, to hear 
tliat ; I shouldn't like to die yet awhile." 

" If fever has broken oxit in the place, who knows but it's 
fever that has taken my lady ! " exclaimed Emma, her stujnd 
fixce alive with consternation : and the rest let their irons drop 
on their stands. " All our lives may bo in jeopardy." 

" Your places will bo in greater jeopardy if you don't pay a 
little more attention to work, and leave off talking nonsense," 
called out the sharp voice of Mrs. Hill from the background. 
The servants started round at its sound, and the irons were 
taken up again. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

DISTURBED BY MRS. CHANDOS. 



No candles yet in Lady Chandos's rooms, but a great flood of 
light in those of Mrs. Chandos. The commotion in the ironing- 
room, that followed the discovered presence of Hill, had given 
me the opportunity to come away, and so exchange (not 
willingly) the gossiping cheerfulness of the back, for the dreary 
front of the house. I had almost laughed aloud at those foolish 
servant-girls ; nevertheless, in what they had said there was 
food for speculation. For when Harry Chandos was in bed, ill 
with fever ; when he was over in France, with the broad sea 
and many miles of land between him and his home ; how could 
they have seen him, or fancied they saw him, in these dark 
walks, night after night, at Chandos V 

Pacing the dark gravel-walk from wing to wing, glancing, as 
I passed each time, through the window-panes and the muslin 
curtains into the oak-parlour, where the solitary tea waited, I 
thought over it all, and came to the conclusion that, taking one 



DISTURBED BY MRS. CHANDOS. 211 

curious tiling with another, something uncanny was in the 
place. How long should I have to stay here ? — how long 
would it be before Emily do Mcllissie came back to me ? 

The hall-door stood ojien, and the hall-lamp threw its light 
across the lawn in a straight line. It seemed like a ray of 
companionship amidst the general dreariness. I took a fancy 
to walk along the pleasant stream, forgetting or unheeding the 
dew that might lie on the grass. On reaching the other side, I 
stood a moment at the top of the Pine Walk, and then advanced 
a few stejis down it. 

Some one was there before me. A white figure — as it looked 
— was flitting about ; and I gave a great start. What with the 
night-hour, the solitary loneliness of all around, the soft sighing 
sound from the branches of the trees, and the servant- girls' 
recent talk of the " ghost," I am not sure but I began to think 
of ghosts myself. Ghost, or no gliost, it came gliding up to 
me, with its slender form, its lovely face : Mrs. Chandos, in a 
white silk evening-dress, with a small white opera-cloak on her 
shoulders. It was her pleasure, as I learnt later, to dress each 
day for her own lonely society just as she would for a state 
dinner-table. 

" How you startled me ! " she exclaimed. " With that great 
brown shawl on yo^^r head, you look as much like a man as a 
woman. But I saw by the height it was not he. Did you know 
that he came — that he was here last night ? " she added, 
dropping her voice to the faintest whisper. 

It was the first time Mrs. Chandos had voluntarily addressed 
me. Of course I guessed that she alluded to Mr. Harry 
Chandos : but I ■ hesitated to answer, after the caution he had 
given me. Was there anything loild about her voice and manner 
as she spoke ? — had her spirits run away with her to-night ? — or 
did the fact of her flitting about in the white evening-dress in 
this wild way, like any school-girl, cause me to fancy it ? 

"Did you know it, I ask?" she impatiently rejoined. 
" Surely you may answer me." 

" Yes ! " There seemed no help for it. " I saw him, madam, 
but I shall not mention it. The secret is safe with me." 

" You saw him ! Oh, Heaven, what will be done ? " she cried, 



212 ANNE iiEREFOIlD. 

in evident distress. " It was so once before : the servants saw 
him. You must not tell any one ; you must not." 

" Indeed I will not. I ana quite trustworthy." 

" What are you doing out here ? " she sharply said. " Look- 
ing for him ? " 

" Indeed no. I was dull by myself, and came across unthink- 
ingly. I am as true as you, Mrs. Chandos. I would not, for 
the world, say a word to harm him." 

The assurance seemed to satisfy— to calm her; she grew 
quiet as a little child. 

" To talk of it might cause grievous evil, you know ; it might 
lead to — but I had better not say more to a stranger. How did 
you come to know of it ? " 

I made no answer. Some feeling, that I did not stay to sift, 
forbade me to say it was from himself. 

" I know ; it was from Madame de Mellissie. It was very 
foolish of her to tell you. It was wrong of her to bring you 
here at all." 

As Mrs. Chandos si)oke, there was something in her words, 
in her tone, in her manner altogether, that caused a worse idea 
to flash across me — that she was not quite herself. Not insane ; 
it was not that thought ; but a little wanting in intellect ; as 
if the powers of the mind were impaired. It startled me 
beyond measure, and I began to think that I ought to try and 
get her indoors, 

" Shall j'-ou not take cold out here, Mrs. Chandos ? " 

" I never take cold. You see, I am my own mistress now : 
when Mrs. Freeman's here, she will never let me come out after 
dusk. Lady Chandos sent my maid to sit with me this even- 
ing, but I lay down on the sofa, and told her I was perhaps 
going to sleeji and she could not stay with me. And I came 
out ; I thought I might sec him." 

Every word she spoke added to the impression. 

" And so you saw him last night ! I did not ; I never do. 
The windows looking tins way are closed. And perhaps if I 
were to see him like that, and be taken by surprise, it might 
make mo ill : Mrs. Freeman says it would. It is bo sad, ycm 
know ! " 



DISTURBED BY MRS. CHANDOS, 213 

" Very sad," I murmured, assuming still that she alluded to 
the infirmity of Mr. Chandos. 

" They never told me. They are not aware that I know it. 
I found it out to-day. I was going about the gallery early 
this morning, before Hill came homo, and I found it out. 
When Mrs. Freeman's here, I can only get out when she pleases. 
You cannot think what a long time it is since— since " 

" Since what '? " I asked, as she came to a stop. 

" Since the last time. Harry has not said a word to mc all 
day ; it is a shame of him. He ought to have told mc" 

" Y^'es, yes," I murmured, wishing to soothe her, 

" Y^ou see, Harry's not friends with me. He tells me he is, 
but he is not in reality. It is through my having treated 
liim Ijadly : he has been the same as a stranger ever since. But 
he ought to have told me this. You must not tell them that I 
know it." 

" Certainly not." 

" They might lock me in, you know ; they did once before : 
but that was not the last time, it was when Harry was in 
France. If Mrs. Freeman had been here to-day, I should not 
have known it so soon. It is very cruel : I think I shall tell 
Lady Chandos so. If Harry — — " 

During the last few words, Mrs. Chandos's eyes had been 
strained on a particular spot near to us. What she saw, or 
fancied she saw, I know not, but she broke into a low smothered 
cry of fear, and sped away swiftly to the house. Rather startled, 
I bent my eyes on the place, as if by some fascination, half ex- 
pecting — how foolish it was ! — to see Mr. Chandos perambu- 
lating in his sleep. And I believe, had I done so, I should 
have run away more terrified than from any ghost. 

Something did appear to be there that ought not to be. It 
was between the trunks of two trees, in a line with them, as if 
it were another tree of never-yet-witnessed form and shape. A 
great deal more like the figure of a man, thought I, as I gazed. 
Not a tall slender man like Mr. Chandos : more of the build of 
Mr. Edwin Barley. 

Why the idea of the latter should have occurred to me, or 
■whether the man (it certainly was one!) bore him any re- 



214 ANNE HEREFORD. 

semblance, I could not tell. The fimcy was quite enough for 
me, and I sped away as quickly as Mrs. Cbandos bad done. 
Sbe bad flitted silently tbrougb tbe ball towards ber rooms, 
and met ber maid on tbe stairs : wbo bad jn-obably just dis- 
covered ber absence. 

" Are you ready to make tea. Miss Hereford '? I bave come 
to bave some." 

It was tbe greeting of Mr. Cbandos, as I ran, scared and 
breatbless, into tbe oak-parlour. He was sitting in tbe easy- 
cbair near tbe table, a review in bis band, and looked ^^p witb 
surprise. No wonder — seeing me dart in as if pursued by a 
wild cat, an ugly sbawl over my bead. But, you see, I bad not 
tbougbt be would be tbere. 

However, be said nothing. I sat down, as sedate as any old 
matron, and made tbe tea. Mr. Cbandos read bis paper, and 
spoke to mo between whiles. 

" Don't you think, sir, we ought to bave beard to-day from 
Madame de Mellissie '? " 

" Why to-day ? " 

" It is getting time that I beard. Except the short note to 
Lady Cbandos, written uj)on ber arrival in Paris, she has not 
sent a syllable. It is very strange." 

" Nothing is strange that Emily docs. She may be intending 
to surpi'ise us by arriving without notice. I fully expect it. On 
the other band, wo may not bear from ber for weeks to come." 

" But sbe has left me here, sir ! She said she should be sure 
to come back the very first day she could." 

Mr. Cbandos slightly laughed. " You may bave passed from 
ber memory. Miss Hereford, as comijletely as though you never 
existed in it." 

I paused in consternation, tbe suggestion bringing to me I 
know not what of j^erplcxity. He looked excessively amused. 

" Wliat can I do, sir ? " 

" Not anything that I see, except make yourself contented 
here. At least until we hear from Emily." 

Witb the tea-things, disappeared Mr. Cbandos ; and a sensa- 
tion of loneliness fell upon me. At what ? At bis exit, or at 
my previous alarm in tbe Pine Walk ? I might bave asked 



DISTURBED BY MRS. CIIANDOS. 215 

myself, but did not. He came back again shortly, remarking 
that it was a fine night. 

" Have you been out, sir ? " 

" No. I have been to my mother's rooms." 

" Is she better this evening ? " 

" Much the same." 

He stood with his elbow on the mantelpiece, his hand lifted 
to his head, evidently in deep thought, a strange look of anxiety, 
of pain, in the expression of his countenance. I went over to a 
side-table to get something out of my work-box ; and, not to 
disturb him by going back again, I softly j)ulled aside the 
muslin window-curtain to look out for a minute on the dusky 
still night. 

What was it made me spring back with a sudden movement 
of terror and a half-cry ? Surely I could not be mistaken ! 
That ivas a face close to the Avindow, looking in ; the dark face 
of a man ; and, unless I was much mistaken, bearing a strong 
resemblance to that of Mr. Edwin Barley. 

" What is it ? " asked Mr. Chandos, coming forward. " Has 
anything alarmed you ? " 

" Oh, sir ! I saw a face pressed close to the window-pane. 
A man's face." 

Without the loss of a moment, Mr. Chandos threw uj) the 
window, and had his head out. All I felt good for was to sit 
down in a chair out of sight. He could see no one, as it 
appeared, and he shut the window again very quietly. Perha2:»s 
his thoughts only pointed to some one of the servants. 

" Are you sure you saw any one. Miss Hereford ? " 

" I am very nearly sure, sir." 

" Who was it ? " 

In truth I could not say, and I was not obliged to avow my 
suspicions. Mr. Chandos hastened outside, and I remained 
alone, as timid. as could be. 

A curious and most unpleasant suspicion was fixing itself 
upon my mind, dim glimpses of which had been haunting me 
diu'ing tea — that Mr. Edwin Barley's object was myself. That 
it was he who had been in the Pine Walk, and again now at 
the window, I felt a positive conviction. He miist have recog- 



21 G ANNE HEREFORD. 

nizecT me ; tliis stealthy intrusion at odd times, seasonable and 
unseasonable, must be to watch me, to take note of my move- 
ments, not of those of the owners of Chaudos. But for his 
motive I searched in vain. 

"I cannot see or hear any one about," said Mr. Chandos, 
when he returned ; " all seems to be quite free and still. I 
fancy you must have been mistaken, Miss Hereford." 

I shook my head, but did not care to say much, after the 
notion that had taken possession of me. Words might lead to 
deeper questions, and I could not for the world have said that 
I knew Edwin Barley. 

"Possibly you may be a little nervous ^o-night," he con- 
tinued, ringing the bell ; " and at such times fancy considers 
itself at liberty to play us all sorts of tricks. My having told 
you what I did tliis morning relating to myself, may have taken 
hold of your imagination." 

" Oh no ; it has not." 

" I shall be very sorry to have mentioned it, if it has. 
Believe me, there's nothing in that to disturb you. When you 
ran in at tea-time I tliought you looked scared. Close the 
shutters," he added, to the servant, who had appeared in answer 
to his ring. " And if you will pardon my leaving you alone, 
Miss Hereford, I will wish you good-night. I am very tired, 
and I have some writing to do yet." 

He shook hands with me and departed. Joseph bolted and 
barred the shutters, and I was left alone. But I went up to my 
room before ton o'clock. 

Would Mr. Chandos— or his ghost, as the servants had it — 
be out again that night in his somnambulant state ? The sub- 
ject had taken hold of my most vivid interest, and after 
undressing I undid the shutters and stood for a few minutes at 
the window in a warm wrapper, watching the grounds. Eyes 
and cars were alike strained, but to no purpose. No noise dis- 
turbed the house indoors, and all appeared still without. It 
might be too early yet for Mr. Chandos. 

But the silence told upon me. There was not a voice to be 
heard, not a sound to break the intense stillness. I began to 
feel nervous, hurried into bed, and went to sleep. 



DISTURBED BY MRS. CHANDOS. 217 

Not to sleep for very long. I was awakened suddenly by a 
commotion in the gallery outside. A loud, angry cry ; re- 
proachful tones ; all in the voice of Mrs. ( 'liandos ; they were 
followed by low, remonstrating words, as if some one wished to 
soothe her. Were you ever aroused thus in the middle of the 
night in a strange, or comparatively strange, place ? If so, 
you may divine what was my terror, I sat up in bed with 
parted lips, unable to hear anything distinctly for the violent 
beating of my heart ; and then darted to the door, putting on 
my slippers and my large warm wrapper, before drawing it 
cautiously an inch oi)en. 

It was not possible to make out anything at first in the dim 
gallery. Three dusky forms were there, having ajiparently 
come from the west wing, which I took to be those of Lady, 
Mr., and Mrs. Chandos. She, the latter, had her hair hanging 
down over a white wrapper ; and Mr. Chandos, his arm about 
her waist, was drawing her to her own apartments. It was by 
that I knew him ; who else would have jn-esumed so to touch 
her ? — his coat was off, his slippers were noiseless. The moon- 
light, coming in faintly on the gallery from above, made things 
tolerably clear, as my eyes got used to them. 

" You never would have told me," she sobbed, pushing back 
her hair with a petulant hand ; " you know you never meant to 
tell me for ever so long. It is cruel — cruel ! What am I hero 
but a caged bird ? " 

" Oh, Ethel ! Ethel ! you will betray us all ! " cried Lady 
Chandos, in a voice of dire, reproachful tribulation. " To think 
that you should make this disturbance at night ! Did you for- 
get tliat a stranger was sleeping here ? — that the servants may 
hear you in their rooms ? You will bring desolation to the 
house." 

Scarcely had they disapi)eared within the doors of the east 
wing, when Mr. Chandos came swiftly and suddenly out of his 
own chamber. Only a moment seemed to have elaj)sed, yet he 
had found it sufficient time to finish dressing, for he was now 
fully attired. His ajipcaring from his chamber, after disap- 
pearing within the east wing, established the fact that his room 
did communicate with it. Almost simultaneously Hickens ran 



218 ANNE IIEEEFORD, 

uj) the stairs from tlie hall, a light in his hand. Mr. Chandos 
advanced upon him, and peremptorily waved him back. 

" Go back to bed, sir. Yon are not wanted." 

But as the light fell on Mr. Chandos's face, I saw that he 
was deadly pale, and his imperative manner seemed to proceed 
from fear, not anger. 

" I heard a scream, Mr. Harry," responded poor Hickens, 
evidently taken aback. " I'm sure I heard voices ; and I — I 
— thought some thieves or villains of that sort had got in, 
sir." 

" Nothing of the kind. There's nothing whatever the matter 
to call for your aid. Mrs. Chandos is nervous to-night, and 
cried out — it is not the first time it has hapj^ened, as you know. 
She is all right again now, and my mother is with her. Go 
back, and get your rest as usual." 

" Shall I leave you the light, sir ? " asked Hickens, perceiving 
that Mr. Chandos had none. 

" Light •? No. What do I vv^ant with a light V Mrs. 
Chandos's ailments have nothing to do with me." 

He stood at the head of the stairs, watching Hickens down, 
and listening to his quiet closing of the doors dividing the hall 
from the kitchen-passages. Hickens slept do\vnstairs, near his 
plate-pantry. He was late in going to rest, as it was explained 
afterwards, and had heard the noise overhead in the midst of 
undressing. 

Mr. Chandos turned from the stairs, and I suppose the 
slender inch-stream of moonlight must have betrayed to him 
that my door was open. He came straight towards it with his 
stern, white face, and I had no time to draw back. He and 
ceremony were at variance with each other that night. 

" Miss Hereford, I beg your pardon, but I must request that 
you retire within your room and allow your door to be closed," 
came the peremptory injunction. " Mrs. Chandos is ill, and 
the sight of strangers would make her worse. I will close it 
for you ; I should so act by my sister, were she here." 

He shut it with his own hand, and turned the key upon me. 
Turned the key upon me ! Well, I could only submit, feeling 
very much ashamed to have had my curiosity detected, and 



DISTURBED BY MRS. CIIANDOS. 219 

returned to bed. Nothing more Avas heard ; not the faintest 
movement to tell that anything imnsual had happened. 

But how strangely mysterious it all appeared ! One curious 
commotion, one unaccountable mystery succeeding to another. 
I had heard of haunted castles in romances, of ghostly abbeys ; 
surely the events enacted in them could not be more startling 
than these at Chandos. 

Morning came. I was up betimes ; dressed, read ; found my 
room unlocked, and went out of doors while waiting for break- 
fast. Mr. Chandos jiassed on his way from the house, and 
stojjped. 

" Did I offend you last night, Miss Hereford ? " 

« No, sir." 

" Walk with me a few steps, then," he rejoined, " I assumed 
the liberty of treating you as a sister — as though you were 
Emily. I thought you would have the good sense to understand 
so, and foci no offence. What caused you to be looking from 
your door ? " 

" The commotion in the gallery awoke me, sir, and I felt 
frightened. It was only natural I should look to sec what 
caused it." 

" What did you see ? " 

" I saw Lady and Mrs. C^handos ; and I saw you, sir. You 
were supjDorting Mrs. Chandos." 

" Did you see any one else ? " 

" No ; not any one else." 

For the space of a full minute Mr. Chandos never took his 
eyes from me. It looked as if he questioned my veracity. 

" I forgot Hickens, sir ; I saw him. At least, in point of 
fact, I did not see him ; he did not come forward enough ; I 
only heard him." 

" Suppose I were to tell you it was not Mrs. Chandos you 
saw?" 

" But it was Mrs, Chandos, sir ; I am sure of it. I recognized 
her in spite of her hanging hair, and I also recognized her voice." 

" You are equally sui'e, I presume, that it was myself ? " 

" Of course I am, sir. Why, did you not speak to me at my 
door afterwards ? " 



220 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Could I have been mistaken in thinking that a great relief 
came over his face ? 

" Ah, yes," he continued after a pause, while his gaze went 
out into the far distance, " Mrs. Chandos is one of our troubles. 
She is not in good health, and has disturbed us before in the 
same manner. The fact is, she is what is called nervous ; 
meaning that she is not so collected at times as she ought to 
bo. I am very sorry you were disturbed." 

" Pray don't think anything of that, sir. She feels strange, 
perhaps, now Mrs. Freeman is gone." 

" Yes, that is it. But it has very much upset my mother." 

" I fancied yesterday evening that Mrs. Chandos was not 
quite right ; though, perhaps, I ought not to repeat it. Her 
manner was a little wild." 

" Yesterday evening ! When did you see her yesterday 
evening ? " 

" I saw her out in the grounds, sir, in the Pine Walk." 

"Alone?" 

" Quite alone, sir, in her white silk evening-dress. It was at 
dusk ; just before I ran in to the oak-j)arlour, if you remember. 
Mrs. Chandos and I came in together." 

" What took you there ? " he asked, abruptly. 

I told him what — that I had stej^ped out, being alone, and 
crossed the grass. 

" Well," he said, gravely, " allow me to caution you not to 
go out of doors after dusk, Miss Hereford ; there are reasons 
against it. I will take care that Mrs. Chandos does not. We 
might have you both run away with," he added, in a lighter tone. 

" There is no fear of that, sir." 

"You do not know what there is fear of," he sharply 
answered. "Last night you looked as scared as could be. 
You will be fancying you see ghosts in the Pine Walk next, or 
me, perhaps, walking in my sleep." 

"We thought we did, sir. At least, something was there 
that looked like a man." 

" What sort of man ? " he hastily asked. 

" One short and thick-set. I suppose it was only the trunk of 
a tree," 



1)ISTUKBED BY MRS. CHANDOS. 221 

'' Stay indoors ; don't go roaming about at dark,*' Lc em- 
phatically said. " And now I have another request to make to 
you, Miss Hereford." 

" What is it, sir ? " 

" That you will leave off calling me ' sir.' It does not sound 
well on your lii)s." 

He smiled as he spoke. And I blushed until 1 was ashamed 
of myself. 

" Have you any love for the appellation ? " 

" No, indeed ! But Madame do Mellissie " 

"Just so," he interrupted. "I suspected as much. You 
would not have fallen into it yourself." 

" I don't know that, sir." 

"Sir?" 

"It was a slip of the tongue. I used to say 'Sir' and 
' Madam ' to Mr. and Mrs. Paler. I was told to do so when I 
went there as governess." 

" Well, you are not governess here, and we can dispense with 
it. Good-morning ! " he added, as we neared the gates. " It is 
too bad to bring you so far, and send you back alone." 

" Are you not coming to breakfast, sir ? " Another slip. 

" My breakfast was taken an hour ago. I am going to see 
how Mrs. Freeman is. You will be condemned to a solitary 
breakfast this morning. Good-bye ! " 

A very i)leasant one, for all that. It is pleasant to live 
amidst the luxuries of life. The fare of a governess had been 
exchanged for the liberal table of Chandos. Not that I cared 
much what I ate and drank : I was young and liealthy ; but I 
did like the ease and refinement, the state and the innocent 
vanities belonging to the order of the Chandos world. 

Half sitting, half lying in one of the garden-chairs in the 
balmy sunshine, I partly read and partly dreamed away tlio 
morning. The house was within view ; servants and comers 
passed to it within hail ; cheery voices could be heard ; snatches 
of laughter now and again. On that side all was busy life ; on 
tlie other lay the silent mass of trees that surrounded Chandos. 
The sun was twinkling through their foliage ; the glorious tints 
of ruddy autumn lighted them up. A charming tableau ! 



222 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Uncertain tliougli my stay was, unusual and perhaps un- 
desirable as tlie position was for a young girl, I was beginning 
to feel strangely happy in it. Madame de Mellissie did not 
come ; another post in, that day, and no letter from her. And 
there I sat on unconcerned, in my pretty lilac muslin, with the 
ribbons in my chestnut hair, watching the little birds as they 
flow about singing ; watching the gardener sweeping up his 
leaves at a distance ; and feeling more joyous than the morning. 
I ought not to have felt so, I dare say, but I did, and broke out 
into snatches of song as gay as the birds. 

Mr. Chandos passed to the hoiise with a quick step, not 
seeing me. He was back, then; I followed, for it was the 
luncheon-hour, and I was not on a sufficient footing at Chandos 
to keep meals waiting. Hill was in the oak-parlour, inquiring 
after the state of Mrs. Freeman. 

" Her state is this. Hill — that it admits no probability what- 
ever of her returning here," said Mr. Chandos, throwing back 
his velveteen coat, for he was in si)orting clothes. And well 
he looked in them ! as a tall, handsome man generally does. 

" There's a bother ! " was Hill's retort. " Then some one 
else must be seen about, Mr. Harry, without loss of time." 

"I suppose so. Things seem to be going tolerably cross 
just now." 

" Cross and contrary," groaned Hill. " As they always do, 
I've noticed, when it's specially necessary they should go 
smooth. My lady was speaking about Miss White, you know, 
sir." 

" Yes. I'll go uj) and speak with my mother. But I must 
have something to eat, Hill." 

" The luncheon ought to be in," was Hill's reply. And she 
crossed to the bell and gave it a sharp pull. 

" Have you been walking to Mrs. Freeman's ? " I asked of 
Mr. Chandos, as he was quitting the room. 

" That would be more than a twenty-mile walk, there and 
back," he answered, turning to sjieak. " I honoured the 
omnibus with my company as far as the station, and then went 
on by train ; coming back in the same way." 

The luncheon was on the table when ho descended from his' 



DISTURBED BY MRS. CHANDOS. 223 

motlier's rooms, and he hastily sat down to it. He was dressed 
differently tliou. 

" I will not invite you to take it with me," he observed, " for 
I must not sit five minutes, and can barely snatch a mouthful." 

" Are you going far ? " 

" Not very far ; but I wish to be home to dinner. T]iat will 
do, Joseph ; you need not wait." 

" Let me wait upon you, Mr. Chandos," I said, springing up. 

" Very well. How will you begin ? " 

" I don't know what to begin with. I don't know what you 
want first." 

" Nor I. For 1 do not want anything at all just now. What 
have you been doing with yourself all the morning ? " 

" Working a little, and reading. Not Shakespeare, but a 
play of Goldsmith's ; ' She Stoops to Conquer.' " 

"Why, where did you pick that up?" he interrupted. "I 
did not know the book was about." 

" I saw it lying in the window-seat near the east wing, and 
dipped into it. After that, I could not put it do^vn again — 
although it was not in the list of the books yoii gave me." 

" You thought you would enjoy the mischief first, as the 
children do, whether the scolding came afterwards or not." 

" Ought I not to have read it ? " 

"You may read it again if you like. It is an excellent 
comedy; more entertaining, I fimcy, to read than to witness, 
though. Did you fall in love with Tony Lumpkin ? " 

"Not irrevocably. Here comes your horse round, Mr. 
Chandos." 

"My signal for departure. And I believe I am speeding on 
a useless errand." 

" Is it an imi)ortant one ? " 

" It is to inquire after a lady to replace Mrs. Freeman as 
companion to Mrs. Chandos. Some one my mother knows ; a 
Miss White. Miss White was seeking such a situation a few 
months ago ;" but the probabilities arc that she has found 
one." 

A strong impulse came over mo to offer to supply the place 
— until I should be called away by Madame do Mellissie. 



224 ANNE HEEEFORD. 

Miss White ! slie might be only a yoiiug person. If I could 
only make myself useful, it would take away the compunction 
I felt at having been thrust upon them at Chandos. I spoke 
on the impulse of the moment, blushing and timid as a school- 
girl. Mr. Chandos smiled, and shook his head. 

" It is not a situation that would suit you ; or you it." 

" Is Miss White older than I ? " 

" A little. She is about fifty-six." 

"Oh! But as a temporary arrangement, sir? Until we 
have news from Madame de Mellissie. I should like to repay 
a tithe of the obligation I am under to Lady Chandos." 

" A great obligation, that ! No, it could not be. We shoiild 
have you and Mrs. Chandos running into the shrubberies after 
sleep-walkers and ghosts, as it seems you did last night. 
Besides," he added, taking up his gloves and riding-whip, " if 
you became Mrs. Chandos's companion, what should I do for 
mine ? " 

He nodded to me after he got on his horse ; a spirited animal, 
Black Knave by name : and rode away at a brisk canter, followed 
by his groom. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

THE STRANGER APPLICANT. 



" Is Mr. Chandos gone, do you know, miss '? " 

The question came from Hill, who put her head i-n at the 
oak-jiarlour to make it. 

" He rode away not three minutes ago." 

" Dear me ! My lady wanted him to call somewhere els?. 
I suppose the note must be posted." 

" Stay an instant, Mrs. Hill," I said, detaining her. " There's 
a new companion wanted, is there not, for Mrs. Chandos ? " 

" Of course there is," returned Hill. " What of it V " 

" ( ^m I see Lady Chandos ? " 

Hill turned liard directly, fiicing me resolutely. 

" Now, miss, you listen ; we have had that discussion once 



THE STRANGEK APPLICANT. 225 

before, and wo don't want it gone over again. So long as my 
lady keeps her rooms, neither you nor ''anybody else can bo 
admitted to her ; you wouldn't be if you paid for it in gold. 
And I'm much surprised that a young lady, calling herself a 
lady, should persist in pressing it." 

" Hill, I am not pressing it. I only asked the question. As 
I cannot see Lady Chandos, will you deliver a message to her 
for me ? If I can be of any use in taking the duties of com- 
panion to Mrs. Chandos in this temporary need, I shall be glad 
to be so, and will do my very best." 

To see the countenance with which Hill received these 
words, was something comical : the open mouth, the stare of 
astonishment. 

" ¥ou take the duties of companion to Mrs. Chandos ! " 
uttered she, at length. "Bless the child 1 you little know 
what you ask for." 

" But will you mention it to Lady Chandos ? " 

Hill vouchsafed no answer. She cast a glance of pity on my 
ignorance or presumption, whichever she may have deemed it, 
and quietly went out of the room. 

That it was perfectly useless persisting, or even thinking of 
the affair further, I saw, and got out my writing-desk. Not a 
word had come to me from Mrs. Paler, not a hint at payment ; 
and I wrote a civil request that she would kindly forward me 
the money due. 

This over, I sat, pen in hand, deliberating whether to write 
or not to Emily de Mellissie, when a loud ring came to 
the house-door. One of the footmen crossed the hall to 
answer it. 

" Is Lady Chandos at home ? " I heard demanded, iu a lady- 
like and firm voice. 

" Her ladyship is at homo, ma'am," answered Joseph, " but 
she does not receive visitors." 

" I wish to see her." 

" She is ill, madam ; not able to see any one." 

" Lady Chandos would admit me. My business is of impol-t* 
ance. In short, I must see her." 

Josej)h seemed to hesitate. 

Anne Hereford- 15 



226 ANNE HEREFOllD. 

" I'll call Mrs. Hill, and you can see her, ma'am," he said, 
after a little pause. " But I feci certain you cannot be admitted 
to my lady." 

She was ushered by Joseph into the oak-parlour. A good- 
looking woman, as might be seen through her black Chantilly 
veil, dressed in a soft black silk gown and handsome shawl. 
She was of middle height, portly, and had a mass of fiery rod 
hair, crcjm on the temples, and taken to the back of her head. 
I rose to receive her. She bowed, but did not lift her veil ; and 
it struck me that I had seen her somev/here before. 

" I presume that I have the lionour of speaking to a Miss 
Chandos '? " 

" I am not Miss Chandos. Will you take a seat ? " 

" I grieve to hear that Lady Chandos is ill. Is she so ill 
that she cannot see me ? " 

What I should have answered I scarcely know, and was 
relieved by the entrance of Hill. The visitor rose. 

" I have come here, some distance, to request an interview 
with Lady Chandos. I hear she is indisposed ; but not, I trust, 
too much so to grant it to me." 

" I'm sorry you should ha\e taken the trouble," bluntly 
returned Hill, who v/as in one of her imgracious moods. " My 
lady cannot see any one." 

" My business with her is of im2)ortanco." 

'• I can't help that. If all England came, Lady Chandos 
could not receive them." 

" To whom am I speaking ?— if I may iuquii-e," resumed the 
lady. 

" I am Mrs. Hill. The many-years' confidential attendant of 
Lady Chandos." 

" You share her entire confidence ? " 

" Her entire confidence, and that of the family." 

" I have heard of you. It is not every family who possesses 
so faithful a friend." 

" Anything you may have to say to her ladyship, whatever 
its nature, you can, if you please, charge me with," resumed 
Hill, completely ignoring the compliment. " I do not urge it, 
or covet it," she hastily added, in an Uncompromising tone. 



THE STRANGER APPLICANT. 227 

" I only mention it because it is impossible that you can see 
Lady Chanclos." 

" Mrs. Chanclos requires a companion, at tbc present moment, 
to rci}lace one wlio has gone away ill." 
" What of that ? " returned Hill. 

" I have come to offer myself for tlie appointment," said 
the visitor, handing her card, which Hill dropped on tlic 
table without looking at. " I flatter myself I shall be found 
eligible." 

Hill looked surprised, and I felt so. Only a candidate for 
the vacant place ? — after all that circumlocution ! 

" Why could you not have said at first what you wanted ? " 
was Hill's next question, put with scant politeness. Indeed, 
she seemed to resent both the visit and the application as a 
personal affront. " I don't think you'll suit, madam." 
" Why do you think I shall not ? " 

" And we are about somebody already. Mr. Chandos is gone 
to inquire for her now." 

A flush, and a shade of disaj)pointment, immediately liid 
under a smile, appeared on tlio lady's face. I felt sorry for 
her. I thought periiaps she might bo wanting a home. 
" Mr. Chandos may not engage her," observed the visitor. 
" That's true enougli," acknowledged Hill. " Yet she would 
have suited well ; for she is not a stranger to the Chandos 
family." 

" Neither am I," quietly replied the applicant. " My name 
is Penn— if you will have the goodness to look at the card- 
Mrs. Penn." 

" Penn ? Penn ? " repeated Hill, revolving the information, 
but paying no attention to the suggestion. I don't recognize the 
name. I remember nobody bearing it who is known to us." 

" Neither would Lady Chandos recognize it, for personally 
I am unknown to her. When I said I was no stranger to tlie 
Chandos family, I meant that I was not strange to certain 
unpleasant events connected with it. That dreadful mis- 
fortune " 

" It's not a thing to bo talked of in the light of day," shrieked 
Hill, putting up her hands to arrest the words. "Have yoil 



223 AKNE HEREFORD. 

not more discretion than that ? Very fit, you'd bo, as companiotl 
to young Mrs. Claandos ! " 

" Do not alarm yourself for nothing," rejoined Mrs. Penn, 
with soothing coolness. " I was not going to talk of it, beyond 
the barest allusion : and the whole world knows that the 
Chandos family are not as others. I would only observe that 
I am acquainted with everything that occurred ; all the details ; 
and therefore I should be more eligible than some to reside at 
Chandos." 

" How did you learn them ? " asked Hill. 

"Lady Chandos had once an intimate friend — Mrs. Sack- 
ville ; who is now dead. I was at Mrs. Sackville's when the 
afifair happened, and became cognizant of all through her. 
Perhaps Lady Chandos may deem it worth while to see me, if 
you tell her this.' 

" How can she see you, when she's confined to her bed ? 
irritably responded Hill, who apj)eared fully bent upon admit- 
ting none to the presence of Lady Chandos. The very mention 
of it excited her anger in a most unreasonable manner, for 
which I could see no occasion whatever. 

More talking. At its conclusion. Hill took the card up to 
Lady Chandos ; also the messages of the stranger ; one of 
which was, that she would prove a faithful friend in the event 
of being engaged. Hill returned presently, to inquire how 
Mrs. Penn heard that a companion to Mrs. Chandos was re- 
quired ; that lady replied that she had heard it accidentally 
at Marden. She had lived only in three situations, she said : 
with Mrs. Sackville and Mrs. James, both of whom were dead, 
and at j^resent she was with Mrs. Howard, of Marden, who would 
personally auswer all inquiries. 

Hill aj^pearcd to regard this as satisfactory. She noted the 
address given, and accompanied Mrs. Penn to the portico, who 
declined the offer of refreshments. They spoke together for 
some minutes in an undertone, and then Mrs. Penn walked 
away at a brisk pace, wishing, she said, to catch the omnibus 
that would presently pass Chandos gates on its way to the 
station. I put my head out at the window, and gazed after 
her, trying to recall, looking at her back, what I had not 



THE STRANGER APPLICANT. 229 

been able to do looking at her face. Hill's voice iutcrruptcd 
me. 

"Is not there something rather queer about that person's 
looks, Miss Hereford ? " 

" In what way, Hill ? She is good-looking." 

" Well, her face struck me as being a curious one. What 
bright red hair she has ! — quite scarlet ! — and I have heard say- 
that red hair is sometimes deceitful. It is her own, though : 
for I looked at it in the sunlight outside." 

" She puts me in mind of some one I have seen, and I cannot 
recollect who. It is not often you see red hair with those very 
light blue eyes." 

" I never saw hair so red in all my life," returned Hill ; " it 
looks just as if it had been burnished. She seems straight- 
forward and independent. We shall see what the references 
say, if it comes to an inquiry." 

" If you and Lady Chandos would only let me try the 
situation. Hill ! I'm sure I should suit Mrs. Chandos as well 
as this lady woiild. I am only twenty ; but I have had 
experience one way or another." 

As if the words were a signal to drive her away, Hill walked 
off. I wrote to Madame de Mellissie, finished a drawing, and 
got through the afternoon ; going up to dress at half-j)ast five. 

Now that Lady Chandos was secluded, and Mr. Chandos my 
solo dinner companion, instinct told me that full dress was best 
avoided. So I put on my pretty pink barege, with its little 
tucker of Honiton lace at the throat, and its falling cuffs of 
Iloniton lace at the wrists. Nothing in my hair but a bit of 
pink ribbon. I had not worn anything but ribbon since I came 
to Cliandos. 

The dinner waited and I waited, but Mr. Chandos did not 
come. I had seen a covered tray carried upstairs by Hickens ; 
at the door of the west wing Hill would relieve him of it, the 
invariable custom. At the special request of Lady Chandos, 
Ilickeus alone went up there ; the other men-servants never. 
Joseph carried uj) the meals for Mrs. Chandos and stayed to 
wait on her. 

" Would you like to sit down without Mr, Chandos, miss ? " 



230 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Hickeus came to inquire of me when lialf-past six o'clock Lad 
struck. 

No, I did not care to do that. And the time went on again ; 
I wondering what was detaining him. By-and-by I went out 
of doors in the twilight, and strolled a little way down the 
open carriage drive. Surely Mr. Chandos's prohibition could 
not extend to the broad public walk. It was not so pleasant an 
evening as the previous one ; clouds chased each other across 
the sky, a dim star or two struggled out, the air was troubled, 
and the wind was sighing and moaning in the trees. 

There broke ujion my ear the sound of a horse's gallop. I 
did not care that its master should see me walking there, and 
turned to gain the house. But — what sort of speed was it 
coming at '? Why should Mr. Chandos be riding in that break- 
neck fashion? Little chance, in truth, that I could outstrip 
that ! So I stepped close to the side trees, and in another 
moment Black Knave tore furiously by without its ridci-, the 
bridle trailing on the ground. 

Mr. Chandos must have met with an accident ; he might be 
lying in desj)erate need. Where could it have happened '? and 
where was the groom who had gone out in attendance on him ? 
I ran along at my swiftest speed, and soon saw a dark object in 
the distance, nearly as far as the entrance-gates. It was Mr. 
Chandos trying to raise himself. 

"Are you hurt?" I asked, kneeling down beside him. 

" Some trifling damage, I suppose. How came you here, 
Miss Hereford?" 

" I saw the horse gallop in, and ran to see what the accident 
might be, sir. How did it hai)pen ? " 

" Got up, child. Get uj), and I will tell you." 

" Yes, sir," I said, obeying him. 

" I was riding fast, being late, and in passing this spot some 
creature — I should say ' devil ' to any one but a young lady — 
darted out of those ti-ees there, and tlirow up its hands with a 
noise right in front of my liorse, to startle it, or to startle mo. 
Black Knave reared, bounded forward, and I lost my seat. I 
had deemed myself a first-rate horsema^i before to-night ; but 
I was sitting carelessly." 



THE STRANGER APPLICANT. 231 

"Was it a mau?^' 

" To the best of my belief, it was a woman. The uiglit is 
dusk ; autl I saw tliiugs less accurately than I might have clone 
in a more collected moment. It was a something in a grey 
cloak, with a shrill voice. I wonder if you could help me up ? " 

" I will do my best." 

I stooped, and he placed his hands upon me, and raised 
himself. But it appeared that he could not walk: but for 
holding on to me, ho would have fallen. 

" I believe you must let mo lie on the ground again, and go 
and send assistance. Miss Hereford. Stay : who's this ? " 

It was one of the servants, Lizzy Dene, who had been, as was 
subsequently explained, on an errand to the village. She 
exclaimed in dismayed astonishment when she comprehended 
the helpless position of Mr. Chandos. 

" Now don't lose your wits, Lizzy Dene, but see what you 
can do to help me," he cried. "With you on one side, and 
Miss Hereford on the other, perhaps I may make a hobble 
of it." 

The woman put her basket down, concealing it between the 
trees, and Mr. Chandos laid his hand upon her shoulder, I 
helping him on the other side. She was full of questions, 
calling' the horse all sorts of treacherous names. Mr. Chandos 
said the horse was not to blame, and gave her the explanation 
that he had given mo. 

" Sir, I'd lay a hundred guineas that it was one of those 
gipsy jades ! " she exclaimed. " There's a lot of them 'camped 
on the common." 

»' I'll gipsy them, should it prove so," he answered. " Miss 
Hereford, I am sorry to lean upon you so heavily. The order 
of things is being reversed. Instead of the knight supporting 
the lady, the lady is bearing the weight of the knight." 

" Where was your groom, sir '? " I inquired. " Ho went 
abroad with you." 

"Yes, but I despatched him on an errand, and rode back 
alone." 

" Should you know tlie woman again, sir '? " asked Lizzy. 

" I think I should know her scream. It was as shrill as a 



232 ANNE HEREFORD. 

sea-gull's. Her head was enveloped in some covering that 
concealed her face ; probably the hood of the grey cloak." 

" Who's to know that it was not a man ? " resumed Lizzy Dene. 

" If so, he wore petticoats," said Mr. Chandos. " A seat at 
last ! " he added, as we approached one. " I will remain here 
whilst you go and send two of the men." 

" CanH we get you on further, sir ? " said Lizzy. 

"No. I have taxed your strength too much in this short 
distance. And my own also, through endeavouring to ease my 
weight to you." 

In point of fact, the weight had been felt, for the one foot 
seemed quite powerless. He sat down on the bench, his brow 
white and moist with pain, and motioned to us to go on. " I 
think they liad better bring my mother's garden-chair," he said. 

" I'll run and send it," cried Lizzy. " Miss had better stop 
with you, sir." 

" What for ? " asked Mr. Chandos. 

" Look you here, sir. That woman, whoever she might have 
been, was trying to do you an injury; to cause you to lose 
your life, I should say ; and the chances are that she's con- 
cealed somewhere about here still. Look at the ojiportunities 
for hiding there are here ! Why, a whole regiment of gij)sies 
and murderers and thieves might be skulking amid the trees, 
and us none the wiser till they showed themselves out with 
guns and knives. That woman — which I'll be bound was a 
man^may be watching to come out upon you, sir, if you can 
be caught by yourself." 

Mr. Chandos laughed, but Lizzy Dene seemed in anything 
but a laughing mood. " I will stay with you, sir," I said, and 
sat down resolutely on the bench. Lizzy went off with a nod. 

" Now, Miss Hereford, you and I have an account to settle," 
he began, as her footstej)s died away in the distance. " Why 
am I ' sir ' again ? " 

" Lizzy Dene was j)rcscnt," I answered, giving him the truth. 
I had not liked that she should see mo familiar with him — 
putting myself, as it were, on a level with Mr. Chandos ; and 
in truth the word still slipped out at odd times in my shyness. 
Lizzy Dene might have commented upon the omission in the 



THE STRANGER APPLICANT. 233 

household: but this I did not say, Mr. Chandos turned to 
look at me. 

" Never mind who is present, I am not ' sir ' to you. I beg 
you to recollect that, Miss Hereford. And now," he continued, 
taking my hand, " how am I to thank you ? " 

" For what ? " 

" For coming and looking for me. I might have lain until 
morning, inhaling the benefit of the night dews ; or until that 
grey witch had ' come out again -vvith a gun ' and finished mc." 

The last words, a repetition of Lizzy Dene's, v/ere spoken in 
jest. I laughed. 

" You would soon have been found, without me, Mr. Chandos. 
Lizzy Dene v,^as not many moments after me, and scores of 
others will be coming in before the night is over." 

" I don't know about the ' scores.' But see how you destroy 
the romance of the thing. Miss Hereford ! I wish there ivas a 
probability that the woman had gone into hiding in the groves 
of Chandos ; I would soon have her hunted out of them." 

" Do you sujipose it was one of the gipsies ? " 

" I am at a loss for any supposition on the point," he rcj)lied. 
" I am unconscious of having given oficncc to any person or 
persons." 

" Do you think you arc much injured ? " 

" There are worse misfortunes in hospitals than the injury to 
my foot. I believe it to be nothing but a common sprain, 
although it has disabled me. The pain " 

" That's great, I am sure." 

" Pretty well. I should not like you to experience it." 

That it was more than pretty well, I saw, for the drops wore 
coursing down his face. The men sce>ii came up with the 
garden-chair, and Mr. Chandos sent me on. 

He was laid on the sofa in the oak-parlour. Hill examined 
the foot and boxmd it up, one of the grooms having been 
despatched for a medical man. He arrived after dinner — which 
was taken in a scrambling sort of manner — a Mr. Dickenson, 
from the village, who was left with Mr. Chandos. 

At tea-time, when I went in again, things looked comfortable. 
The surgeon had pronounced it to be only a sprain, and Mr. 



234 ANNE HEEEFORO. 

Chandos was on tlie sofa, quietly reading, a shaded lamp at his 
elbow. From his conversation with Hill, I gathered that the 
lady he had been inquiring after, Miss White, had taken a 
situation at a distance, and could not come to Chandos. 

" We have had another applicant after the place, Mr. Harry," 
observed Hill, who was settling the cushion under his foot. 
And she proceeded to tell him the particulars of Mrs. Penn's 
visit. 

" Is she likely to suit ? " 

" My lady thinks so. Mr. Harry " — dropping her voice to a 
whisper, which she, no doubt, thought would be inaudible to 
me, busy witli the tea-cups at the table ever so far off — •" she 
knows all about that past trouble." 

Mr. Chandos laid down his book and looked at her. 

" Every unhappy syllable of it, sir ; more than my lady 
knows herself," whispered Hill. " She mentioned one or two 
particulars to me which I'm sure we had never kno^vn ; and 
she said she could tell my lady more than that." 

" That is extraordinary," observed Mr. Chandos, in the same 
subdued tone. " Who is this Mrs. Penn ? Whence could she 
have heard anything ? " 

" From Mrs. Sackville. You must remember her, sir. She 
stayed a week with us about that time." 

" Tills comes of my mother's having made a confidant of 
Mrs. Sackville ! " he muttered. " I always thought Mrs. Sack- 
ville a chattering woman. But it does not account for Mrs. 
Penn's knowing particulars that my mother does not know," 
he added, after a pause. " 1 shall bo curious to see Mrs, 
Penn." 

" That's just the question I put to her, sir : where Mrs. 
Sackville could have learnt these details. Mrs. Penn answered 
that she had them from Sir Thomas himself. Therefore, I 
conclude. Sir Thomas must have revealed to her what he S2)ared 
my lady." 

Mr. Chandos shook his head with a i)roud, repollant air. 

" I don't believe it, Hill. However Mrs. Sackville might 
have learnt them, rely upon it it was not from Sir Thomas. 
She was no favourite of his." 



THE STRANGER APPLICANT. 235 

" Misfortuues never come singly," resumed Hill, quitting 
the subject with a sort of grunt. "Mrs. Freeman could not 
Lave fallen ill at a worse time." 

" And now I am disabled ! Temiwrarily, at least." 

" Oil, well, sir, let's liope for the best," cried she, getting up 
from her knees. " When troubles come, the only plan is to 
look them steadily in the face, and meet tliem bravely." 

"It is rather curious, though," cried Mr. Chandos, looking 
at Hill. 

" What is, sir ? " 

" That I should be laid aside now. It has been so each 
time. There's something more than chance in it." 

Hill appeared to understand. I did not. As she was 
quitting the room, Hickcns came in. 

" Mr. Dexter has called, sir," he said. " Would you like to 
see him '? " 

" Does he want anything particular ? " asked Mr. Chandos. 

" No business, sir. He heard of tliis accident to you, and 
hurried here, he says." 

" Let him come in. You need not leave us. Miss Hereford," 
he added to me, for I was rising. " Dexter will thank you for 
a cup of tea." 

" Well, now, Mr. Chandos, how was this ? " cried the agent, 
as he bustled in, wiping his red face. Mr. Dexter gave me the 
idea of being always in a hurry. 

"I can hardly tell you," replied Mr. Chandos. "I don't 
quite know myself." 

" News was brought into my office that Mr. Chandos's horse 
had thrown him, and ho was supposed to be dying. So I caught 
uj) my hat and came rushing ofi". Hickens says it is only an 
injury to the ankle." 

" And that's enough. Dexter, for it is keeping me a prisoner. 
However, it might have been as you heard, so I must not 
grumble. The question is, v/hat ill- working jade caused it V " 

" Ill-working jade ? " repeated Mr. Dexter. " Was it not an 
accident ? I don't understand." 

" An accident maliciously peri)etrated. Some venomous spirit 
in the guise of a woman sprang before my horse with a scream, 



236 ANNE HEREFORD. 

and ttrew uj) lier arms in his face. Black Knave won't stand 
such jokes. I was riding carelessly, and lost my seat." 

" Bless my heart ! " exclaimed Mr. Dexter, after a pause, 
given to digest the words. " Who was it ? Is she taken ? " 

" A tramp, probably. Though why she should set on mo I 
am unable to conjecture. Where she vanished to, or what 
became of her, I know not. I raised myself on my elbow 
directly I could collect my vnts, which I assure you were some- 
what scattered, but the coast was already clear : and I had not 
been down a minute then." 

" What was the woman like ? " pursued the agent, as I handed 
him some tea. 

" I can tell you nothing about that. She wore a grey cloak, 
or something that looked like one, which enveloi)ed her person 
and shaded her face. I should not know her if she stood before 
me this minute." 

"Was the cloak assumed for the purpose of disguise, sir, 
think you ? " eagerly questioned the agent, who seemed to take 
the matter up with much warmth, as if he had a suspicion. 

" It looked uncommonly like it." 

" Then I tell you what, Mr. Chandos ; it was no ordinary 
tramp, or gaol-bird of that description. Depend upon it, you 
must look nearer home." 

" Nearer home ! " re2)eated Mr. Chandos. " Do you allude to 
our household servants ? " 

"I don't allude to any party or parties in particular, sir. 
But when a disguise is assumed for the purpose of molesting a 
gentleman, riding to his home in the dusk of night, be assured 
that the oflfender is no stranger. This ought to be investigated, 
Mr. Chandos." 

" I sent two of the men to seek round about, and they scoured 
the plantations near the spot, but without result. So far as 
they could ascertain, no living body, worse than a hare, was 
concealed there." 

" I could understand if you wore obnoxious to the tenants, or 
to any otliers, in tlie neighbourhood, but the exact contrary is 
the case," pursued Mr. Dexter, stirring his tea violently round 
and round, " The tenants often say they wisli Mr. Chandos 



^ttE STRANGER APPLICANT. 237 

was tlicir real landlord. Not that tlicy have any canse of com- 
j)laiut against Sir Thomas ; but Sir Thomas is a stranger to 
them, and you, sir, arc in their midst ; one, as it were, of them- 
selves." 

" Talking about tenants — and to leave an unprofitable sub- 
ject, for we shall make nothing of it in the present stage of the 
afiair," resumed Mr. Chandos — " I don't like the new tenant by 
the gates here. Dexter." 

"No? Why not, sir?" 

" And I should like to get rid of him " 

Our visitor put his bread-and-butter down on the plate, and 
stared at Mr. Chandos, as if questioning whether ho might bo 
in jest or earnest. 

" What is your objection to him, sir ? " he asked, after a 
pause. 

"I cannot state any objection in detail. I have seen the 
man, and I don't like him. How can he be got rid of. Dexter ? " 

" He cannot be got rid of at all, sir, until the lease is out — 
three years — unless he chooses to quit of his own accord. 
There's a clause in the lease that he can leave at the end of any 
twelvemonth, by giving proj^er notice." 

" That's his side— as regards the agreement. What is mine ? " 

" You have no power to dismiss him until the three years arc 
up." 

How came you to draw up a one-sided deed, such as that ? " 

" Haines said his client wished to have the option of quitting 
at the end of any year, though he would probably continue for 
the three. In point of fact, Mr. Edwin Barley is a yearly 
tenant ; but he wished to have the power in his own hands of 
remaining the three years. I did speak to you, Mr. Chandos, 
and you made no objection." 

Mr. Chandos sat, twirling the watch-key and beautiful trans- 
parent seal that drooped from his gold chain. It was self- 
evident to him that what might aj^pcar to be just terms for any 
other man on the face of the earth who had oftered himself as 
tenant, looked anything but just now that the tenant proved to 
be Mr. Edwin Barley. 

" And the agreement is signed, of course ? " 



238 ANNE HEREFORD. 

"Signed, sealed, and delivered," was tlie answer of Mr. 
Dexter, wlio had taken the remark as a question. 

" Just so. And there are no legal means of getting rid of 
the man ? " 

" None at all, sir, for three years, if he pleases to stop. But, 
Mr. Chandos, he appears to me to be an exceedingly eligible 
tenant — a very wealthy and respectable gentleman ! " 

" Wealthy and respectable though he may be, I would give a 
thousand pounds to be quit of him, Dexter." 

" But why, sir ? " repeated the agent, in surprise. 

" He is not likely to prove an agreeable neighbour. I don't 
like the look of him." 

" Pardon the suggestion, Mr. Chandos, but you are not obliged 
to have anything to do with him," returned the agent, who 
looked as though the views propounded were quite different 
from any he had ever met with. " So long as Mr. Edwin 
Barley keeps his house respectable and jmys his rent, that's all 
you need know of him sir, unless you like." 

" What brought him settling himself here ? " abruptly asked 
Mr. Chandos. 

"Well, I inquired once, but got no satisfactory answer. 
They say his own place by Nettleby is quite magnificent com- 
l")ared with this house that he has taken. I remarked ujion it to 
Haines. ' Gentlemen like to go about the country and i)leasc 
their fancy for change,' Haines answered me. Which is true 
enough, sir." 

Mr. Chandos gave a sort of incredulous nod, and the agent 
rose. 

"Now that I have seen you, sir, and had the pleasure of 
ascertaining that the injury is less than report said, I'll be 
going back again. But I shall keep my eyes oj^en for a woman 
in a grey cloak. If I meet one, I'll poimce upon her, as sure 
my name's Bob Dexter. Pray don't trouble yourself, young 
lady ! I know my way out." 

I had risen to ring the bell. Mr. Dexter was gone before- 
hand, and we heard the hall-door close after him with a sharp 
click. 
■ Just as the tea-things were taken away, Lizzy Dene came in. 



THE STRANGER APPLICANT. 239 

Tlie womau looked wild to-niglit ; her eyes were shining as 
with fire ; her dark cheeks had a glow in them as of fever ; 
the bunches of black curls on cither side were tangled ; and 
she had not removed her bonnet and shawl before ajipearing in 
the presence of Mr. Chandos. 

" I beg your pardon, sir ! " she said, " but I thought I'd tell 
you where I've been to." 

" Well '? " returned Mr. Chandos, turning his head to her 
from the sofa. 

" I couldn't get it out of my head, sir, that the woman who 
served you that trick must be one of the gipsies, so I just put 
my best foot foremost, and walked over to the common. Tliey 
are encamped at the far end of it, down in the hollow amid the 
trees. Such a sight ! A big tent lighted with a torch stuck in 
the ground, and four or five women and children in it, and straw 
beds in the corner, with broAvn rugs, and a pot a-boiliug on the 
fire outside. But I had my walk for nothing ; for the women 
seemed quiet and peaceable enough ; one of them was sewing, 
and, so far as I saw, they had never a grey cloak between 'em. 
Thei'c was an old creature bent double, she could scarce hobble, 
and two young women with babies in their arms, and there was 
a growing girl or two. I'm bound to confess that none of them 
looked wicked enough to have been the one that set on you, sir." 

" Well ? " repeated Mr. Chandos, regarding Lizzy with some 
wonder. " What else ? " 

" Why, sir, this. If it was one of the gipsies that attacked 
you, she's not back at the camp yet ; she must be in hiding 
somewhere ; and most likely it's in these very grounds, where 
they're thickest. If all the men went out to beat the place, 
they might drop upon her." 

There was something curiously eager about the woman as 
she spoke, with her cheeks and eyes gloM'ing, and her tone full 
of passion. I think it struck Mr. Cliandos. It certainly struck 
me, and to a degree that set me wondering. But Mr. Chandos 
betrayed no curiosity, and answered with quiet decision. 

" Wc v>all forget this, Lizzy Dene ; at any rate for the pre- 
sent. I am tired of this subject ; and I do not sui)pose it to 
have been any of the gipsies. Some poor mad woman, more 



240 ANNE HEREFORD. 

probably, escaped from tlie county ayslnm. Don't trouble 
yourself about it further." 

Lizzy looked bard at bim, as if sbo would have said more, 
but finally withdrew in silence. 

" Tired of everything, I think, to-night ! " he added, with a 
weary sigh, as she closed the door. " Tired even of reading ! " 

" Can I do anything to amuse you, Mr. Chandos ? " I asked, 
for he threw his book on the stand. 

"Ay. Sit you down on that low chair, and tell me the 
stories of your past life, after the manner of fairy-tales. 

The chair was on the opposite side to the sofa, and I sat 
down upon it. He made me come quite close to him, lest he 
should not hear. Which must have been said in jest, for his 
ears were quick. But I drew it nearer. 

" Now for fairy-tale the first. How shall you begin? " 

" I don't know how to begin, sir. My life has had no fairy- 
tales in it. I have not had a home, as other girls have." 

" Not had a home ! " 

" I had one when I was a little girl. Mamma lived in a 
cottage in Devonshire, and I was with her." 

" So you are a little Devonshire woman ? " 

" No ; I was born in India. Mamma brought me over when 
I was three years old." 

« And your father ? " 

" He had to stay behind in India. He was in the army. 
After that he sold out to come home, and died very soon. 
Mamma died when I was eleven, and since that I have been at 
school." 

" Had you no relatives to offer you a homo ? " 

" No ! " And I felt my face flush as I thought of Mr. Edwin 
Barley. He must have noticed it : he was looking at me. 

" No home all those years ! How you must long for one ! " 

" I keep my longings down. It may never be my happiness 
to know a home ; cer'^ainly there is no jirescnt prospect of it. 
I resign myself to my position, doing my duty, as it is placed 
before me, and not looking beyond it." 

" What do you call your ' position ' ? " 

" That of a governess." 



THE STRANGER APPLICANT. 241 

" I should say you are of gentle blood ? " 

« Oh yes." 

He paused. I paused. I saw that he expected I should tell 
him something more about myself and my family ; and I would 
willingly have told all, but for having to bring in the names of 
Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Barley. The fear of doing that ; of 
alluding to the dreadful events of the past, clung to me still as 
a nightmare. Mr. Chandos, who did not fail to detect the 
reluctance, concluded there must be some reason for it, not 
expedient to relate ; he quitted the subject at once, with the 
innate delicacy of a refined man, and did not again, then or 
later, make allusion to my family. 

" Well, now for the fairy-tales. Begin. If you don't tell 
me something worth hearing, I shall fall asleep." 

I laughed ; and related to him one or two short anecdotes of 
my school life, and then remembered the supper-scene at Miss 
Fenton's, and the setting on fire of Georgina Digges. He had 
grown interested in that, and we were both talking very fast, 
Avhen the clock struck ten. I got up and put away the low chair. 

" Good-night, sir." 

" Good-night — miss ! " 

It made me laugh. He took my hand, kept it for a minute 
in his, and said he wished me pleasant dreams. 

" I shall dream of a woman in a grey cloak. But, Mr. 
Chandos ! in one sense, the accident is a good thing for you." 

" You must explain how. I don't see it." 

" With that disabled foot you may make sure of uninter- 
rupted rest. There is no fear that you will leave your bed 
to-night to walk in the moonlight." 

" You go to bed, and to sleep, and never mind looking for 
me in the moonlight ; to-night, or any other night." 

His mood had changed : his brow had grown angry, his voice 
stern. The thought of having alluded to his infirmity brought 
back all my humiliation. 

" I beg your pardon, sir," I meekly said. And he released 
my hand without another word. 

I thought of it all the time I was undressing ; I thought of 
it after I was in bed. Not of that only, but of other things. 

Anne Hereford. 16 



'242 ANNE HEREFORD. 

If Mr. Edwin Barley was tlic enemy of the family, as hinted at 
by Mr. ChandoB, and could do them at will irreparable injury ; 
and if he, Edwin Barley, had thus brought himself into 
proximity, because he had learnt in some unaccountable manner 
that I was staying there, how they would have cause to detest 
me ! Of course it miglit not be. Mr. Edwin Barley might 
have come for his own purposes to Chandos, irrespective of me. 
I could only hope it was so ; but the doubt caused me most 
jealously to guard his name, as a connection of mine, from Mr. 
Chandos. 

I drojiped into peaceful sleep. My last thouglit, as it stole 
over me, was to wonder whether Lizzy Dene and the other 
maids were watching from the turret-window for the ghost in 
the Pine Walk. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE NEW COMPANION. 



A SOLITARY breakfast for me. Mr. Chandos remained in his 
room, nursing his foot ; Lady Chandos was in hers. As I was 
eating it, Hill came in. 

" Will you transact a commission for my lady, this morning, 
Miss Hereford ? " 

" With great pleasure," I answered, starting up with alacrity, 
glad that they were going to give me something to do at last. 
-' What is it ? " 

" Well, it's nothing that you need bo in such a hurry for as 
to lose your breakfast," grimly res^Jouded Hill. " My lady is 
ill, Mr. Chandos is disabled, I can't be spared ; so we want you 
to go to Marden, and make some inquiries." 

" Oh yes ; I will go anywhere. It is very dull here, by 
myself all day. Is it about Mrs. Penn ? " 

" It is about Mrs. Penn," returned Hill, in her stififest 
manner. " You Avill have to see Mrs. Howard, the lady she 
referred to, and ask certain questions of her, which will be 
written down for you." 



THE NEW COMPANION. 243 

" Am I to go by train, Hill ? " 

" My lady would not send you alone by train. Her own 
carriage will be round by ten o'clock to convey you to Mardeu." 

At ten tiio carriage drew up. I was quite ready for it. Vain 
girl ! I had put on one of my jirettiest dresses, and a wliito 
bonnet ; my chestnut hair ri^^pled back from my brow, and the 
pink flowers mingled with it. I had grown fairer in complexion 
than I was as a child, and my cheeks wore generally a soft 
bright colour. 

Stepping in, I was bowled away, in the same state that my 
lady would have gone. The fine barouche had its handsome 
hammercloth, its badge on the panels, its attendant servants. 
I was born to this social state, if I had not been brought up in 
it, and it was very delightful. The old lodge-keeper touched 
his hat to me as we passed through the gates to the smooth 
road. The sun vras shining, the birds v^ere singing, the leafy 
trees were dancing. 

" Now mind ! " Hill had said to me. " All, you have to do is 
to put by word of mouth these questions written down for you, 
and to take strict note of the answers, so as to report them 
accurately when you come back. They are but ordinary 
questions : or else you would not be sent. Be discreet, young 
lady, and don't talk on your own score." 

I oijened the paj)er and read over .the questions as we went 
along. Simple queries, as Hill had said ; just such as are jiut 
when a deiiendent, whether lady or servant, is being engaged. 
The address given was " Mrs. Charles Ploward, number nine. 
King Street, Marden." And there the carriage drew up. Carry- 
ing the paper, I was shov/n upstairs to the drawing-rooms, 
sending in my name — Miss Hereford." 

Handsome rooms, two communicating with each other. A 
lady, very much dressed in elaborate morning costume, rose to 
receive me. I found it was Mrs. Howard, and entered uj)on 
my queries. 

They were most satisfactorily answered. A higher character 
than she gave to Mrs. Penn could not be tendered. Mrs. Penn 
was faithful, good, discreet, and trustworthy ; very capable in 
all ways, and invaluable in a sick room. Her regret at parting 



244 ANNE HEREFORD. 

with lier was great, but she, Mrs. Howard, was going to Brussels 
on a long visit to her married daughter, and it would be incon- 
venient to take Mrs. Penn. She should be so glad to see her 
settled elsewhere comfortably, before leaving England. 

So voluble was Mrs. Howard, saying ten times more than she 
need have said, that I could not get in a word. I should have 
liked her better had she been less flourishing in speech, and not 
worn quite so many ornaments. As soon as I could speak, I 
asked if I might see Mrs. Penn, such having been Hill's 
instructions to me, in case the references proved satisfactory. 

Mrs. Howard rang for her, and she came in. She wore a 
bright violet gown of some soft material ; her red hair was 
disposed in waving bands low on her forehead and taken back 
underneath her cap. Had I seen her anywhere in my past life ? 
The expression of her full face when her eyes were turned on 
me seemed so familiar : striking upon the mind like something 
we may have seen in a dream ; but when I examined her 
features I could not trace in them any remembrance. Perhaps 
I was mistaken. We do see faces that resemble others as we 
go through the world. 

I told her she was to proceed with as little delay as possible 
to Chandos, to hold an interview with its mistress when sho 
would probably be engaged. 

My mission over, I entered the carriage to be driven home 
again. We had nearly reached Chandos when I missed my 
pocket-handkerchief. It was one that had been embroidered 
for me by a favourite schoolfellow at Miss Earlieu's, Marguerite 
Van Blumm, and I valued it for her sake. Besides, I only 
possessed two handsome handkerchiefs in the world : that, and 
one I had bought iu Paris. I hoped I had left it at Mrs. 
Howard's, and that Mrs. Penn would bring it to me. 

To my great amazement, when I arrived home, I found Mrs. 
Penn was already there. Not engaged : Hill was waiting to 
hear my report of what Mrs. Howard said. Mr. Chandos 
laughed at the expression of my face. 

" The triumpli of steam over carriage wheels. Miss Hereford. 
Sho took a train immediately, and a fly on at Hettoh Station." 

The fly was outside the windows as he spoke ; it had drawn 



THE KEW companion. 245 

away from the door to allow tlie carriage to set Me do^vn. I 
did not see Mrs. Penn ; she was waiting in the large drawing- 
room ; and I did not like to make the fuss of going to her to 
ask about my handkerchief. 

But a c[uarter-of-an-hour, and it was driving her back to 
Hetton. She was engaged ; and had agreed to enter that same 
evening. She came, quite punctually. But for a day or two 
afterwards it so fell out that I did not see her. 

The first time we met was one morning, when I was finishing 
breakfast. Mrs. Penn came into the oak-parlour with her 
bonnet and shawl on. She had been out of doors. 

" I don't know what your grim old butler will say to me, but 
I have forestalled him with the postman," she began, without 
any other greeting. " Unless I take a turn for ten minutes in 
the open air of a morning, I feel stifled for the day : the post- 
man came up while I was in the broad walk, and I took the 
letters from him. Only two," she continued, regarding the 
addresses in a free and easy sort of manner scarcely becoming 
her position. " Both foreign letters," she went on in a run- 
ning comment. "One is for Harry Chandos, Esquire; the 
other for Miss Hereford. That is yourself, I think." 

" I am Miss Hereford." 

" It is a pretty name," she observed, looking at me : " almost 
as pretty as you are. Do you remember in the school history 
of England we are told of the banishment of Lord Hereford by 
his sovereign, and how it broke his heart ? Is your Christian 
name as pretty '? " 

" It is Anne." 

" Anne Hereford ! A nice name altogether. Where do your 
friends live ? " 

Instead of answering, I rose and rang the bell for the butler ; 
who came in. 

" The letters are here, Hickcns," I said, putting the one for 
Mr. Chandos in his hand, whilst I kept mine. Hickens, with a 
dubious air, looked alternately at me, and the letters, as if 
wondering how they came there. I explained. 

" Mrs. Penn brought them in. She tells me she met the post- 
man in the broad walk, and took them from him." 



246 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Please to let the man bring the letters to the house, ma'am, 
should you meet him again," Hickens respectfully observed, 
turning to Mrs. Penn. " My lady never allows any one to take 
them from the postman : he brings them into the hall, and 
delivers them into my hand. Once when Miss Emily was at 
home, she took them from the man in the grounds, and my lady 
was very much disj)leased with her. Her ladyship is exceed- 
ingly strict in the matter," 

" How particular they seem about their letters ! " exclaimed 
Mrs. Penn in an undertone, as Hickens departed with his 
master's. 

" Many families are so. Mr. Paler was worse than this, for 
he always liked to take the letters from the facteur himself." 

" Who is Mr. Paler ? " she questioned. 

" I have been living as governess in his family in Paris. 
Mrs. Penn, may I ask you whether I left a handkerchief at Mrs. 
Howard's the day I went there ? " 

" Not that 1 know of. I did not hear of it. Have you lost 
one ? " 

" Yes ; one that I valued : it was a keepsake. I know I had 
it in the carriage in going to Marden, but I remember nothing 
of it subsequently. When I arrived home I missed it." 

" You most likely dropped it in stepping out of the carriage." 

" Yes, I fear so." 

She quitted the room with a remark that her time was up. 
I opened my letter, which was in Emily de Mellissie's hand- 
writing ; and read as follows : — 

" The idea of your making all this fuss ! Though I suj^pose 
it is mamma's fault, not yours. She is neither poison nor a 
tiger, and therefore will not do the house irretrievable damage. 
It's not my fault if Alfred has taken this gastric fever, and I 
am detained here, I would rather be in the wilds of Africa, 1 
assure you, scampering over the sandy desert on a mad jjony, 
tlian condemned to be jient up in sick-chambers. Fancy what 
it is ! Alfred reduced to a skeleton, in his bed on alternate 
days, taking nothing but tisane, and that sort of slops, and 
lamenting that he won't get over it : Madame de Mellissic iu 



THE NEW COMPANION. 247 

her bed, groaning under an agonizing attack of sciatica ; and I 
doing duty between the two. It's dreadful. I sliould come off 
to Chandos to-morrow and leave tliem till tbey were better, but 
that the world would call me hard-hearted, and any other polite 
name it could lay its hand upon. Every second day he seems 
nearly as ^yell as I am, and says I shall be siire to start fur 
Cliaudos on the next. When the next comes, there he is, down 
again with fever. And that is my present fate ! — which is 
quite miserable enough without your reproaching me for being 
thoughtless, and all the rest of it. How I should get through 
the dreary days but for some novels and a few callers, I don't 
know ; but the novels are not exciting, and the visitors arc 
stupid. Paris is empty just now, and as dull as a dungeon. 
Don't go worrying me with any more letters reflecting on my 
'prudence,' or I shall send them back to you. If mamma 
orders you to write, tell her plainly that you won't. Pray who 
is Anne Hereford, that she should bo allowed to disturb the 
peace of Chandos ? Indeed, Harry, she is nohody ! and you 
need not stand on ceremony with her. I am sorry that her 
staying there just now should be so very inconvenient — as you 
hint that it is. Mamma has a great dislike to have people in 
the house, I know ; but leaving her was really not my fault, as 
you ought to see. I will come over as soon as I can, for my 
own sake, and relieve you of her : — you cannot form an idea 
what it is here, no soirees going on, no fetes, no anything. 
But if you really cannot allow her to remain until then, the 
shortest way will be to let her go to Nullc. 

" Love to mamma, and believe me, your affectionate sister, 

"Emily de Mellissie." 

I read nearly to the end before suspecting tliat the letter 
"was not meant for me. I had sujiposed it to be the answer to 
the one I despatched to Emily in the previous week. Some 
one else — as it would appear — had despatched one also, remon- 
strating at the inconvenience my jiresence caused at Chandos. 

With a face that was burning in its every lineament — with 
hands that trembled as they closed —with a heart that felt half- 
sick with shame — I started up. That very moment I would 



248 ANNE HEREFORD. 

write word to Madame de Mellissie that I was (xuitting Chandos ; 
and to Miss Barlieu, to say I was coming. In the midst of 
which paroxysm there entered Mr. Chandos, between Hickens 
and a stick. 

He sat down in an arm-chair, wishing me good-morning. 
When the man had gone I advanced to him with the ojien letter. 

" This letter must be intended for you, I think, Mr. Chandos, 
although it was addressed to me. It is from Madame Alfred 
do Mellissie." 

"Just so," he said, taking it, and handing me the one ho 
himself held. " This, I presume, is for you, as it begins ' My 
dear Anne Hereford.' Emily has betrayed her characteristic 
heedlessness, in sending my letter to you, and yours to me." 

He ran his eyes over the note, and then called to me. I 
stood looking from the window. 

" Have you read this ?" 

"Every word. Until I came to my own name I never 
suspected that it was not written for me. I am very sorry, Mr. 
Chandos ; but I hope you will not blame me ; indeed it was 
douo inadvertently." 

" So am I sorry," ho answered, in a joking sort of tone, as if 
he would pass the matter over lightly. " Emily's letters ought 
to be prciserved in the British Museum." 

Before he could say more. Hill came in, and began talking 
with him in an undertone, looking crossly at me. Of course it 
drove me away. I went to the portico, and read my letter. 

" My dear Anne Hereford, 

" You need not trouble yourself at all about being 
what you call ' an encumbrance ' at Chandos, but just make 
yourself contented until I can come over. Mamma and my 
brother ought to be glad to have you there, for they are immured 
alone from year's end to year's end. Keep out of their way as 
much as possible, so as not to annoy them. 

" Yours sincerely, 

" Emily de Mellissie. 
" P.S. — Of course you might go to Miss Barlieu's, if Lady 
Chandos deems it exi)edient tliat you should do so." 



THE NEW COMPANION. 249 

A fine si^ecimen of contradiction the note presented. I 
folded it and went upstairs, one determination strong upon mo 
— to depart for NuUe. 

Mrs. Penn was standing at the gallery-window between my 
room and the library. She was dressed handsomely, this new 
companion : a grey silk robe, a gold chain, a pretty blonde-lace 
cap mingling with her almost scarlet hair, valuable rings on 
her fingers. Just as I took likes and dislikes Avhcn a child, so 
I took them still. And I did not like Mrs. Penn. 

" I cannot divest myself of the notion that I have met you 
before, Mrs. Penn," I said. "But I am unable to recollect 
■where." 

" I can tell you," she answered. " You were at school at 
NuUe, and attended the English Protestant Church. It was 
there you and I used to see each other." 

" There ? " I repeated, incredulously, thinking she must bo 
wrong. 

" Yes, there," said Mrs. Penn. " I was staying in the town 
for some weeks two or three years ago ; I remembered your face 
again here directly, though you have grown much. You were 
wont to study my face nearly as much as you studied your 
Prayer-book. I used to wonder what you found in me to 
admire." 

Throw my recollection back as I would, I could not connect 
the face before me with my associations of Nulle. It certainly 
might have been there that we met — and indeed why should 
she say so, were it not ? — but it did not seem to be. As to the 
looking off the Prayer-book part, I was siu-e that there could 
not have been much of that, the English governess who suc- 
ceeded Miss Johnstone always watched us so sharply. 

" Did you know the Miss Barlicus, Mrs. Penn ? " 

" Only by sight ; I had no acquaintance with them. Quite 
old maids they are." 

" They are kind, good women," I broke out, indignantly, and 
Mrs. Penn laughed. 

" Somewhat careless withal, are they not '? I think that was 
exemplified in the matter relating to Miss Chandos." 

I could not answer. The w^hole blame had lain with Emily, 



250 ANNE HEREFORD. 

but I did not choose to say that to Mrs. Penn. She was turn- 
ing her gokl chain round and round her finger, her very light 
blue eyes seemingly fixed on the opposite pine-trees, and when 
she spoke again her voice had dropped to a low tone. 

" Do you believe in ghosts, Miss Hereford ? " 

" Ghosts ? " I echoed, astonished at the question. 

" Ghosts," she re^^eatcd. " Do you believe that the dead 
come again?" 

" When I see any ghosts I will tell you whether I believe in 
them or not," I said, jokingly. " Up to the present time it has 
not been my good fortune to fall in v/ith any." 

" It is said," she proceeded, looking round with caution, 
" that a ghost haunts Chandos. Have you not seen any strange 
sights ? " 

" No, indeed. It would very much astonish mc to see such 
— if by ' strange sights ' you moan ghosts." 

" I saw one once," she said. 

" Mrs. Penn ! " 

" A lady died in a house where I was staying ; died almost 
suddenly. If ever I saw anything in my life, I saw her after 
she was in her grave. You look at mc with incredulity." 

" I cannot fancy that a real genuine ghost was ever seen. I 
am aware that strange tales are told — and believed : but I think 
they are only tales of the imagination." 

" In speaking of strange tales, do you allude to Chandos ? " 

" Certainly not. I spoke of the world in general." 

" You take me up sharply. Nevertheless, strange talcs arc 
whispered of Chandos. On a moonlight night, as report runs, 
the spirit of Sir Thomas may be seen in the walks." 

" Does it swim over from India to take its promenade ? " I 
mockingly asked. 

" You are thinking of the present baronet : he is not dead. 
I spoke of the late one. Look out some of these light nights, 
will you, and tell mc whether you see anything. I cannot ; for 
the available windows of the east wing do not fiice this way. 
They say he takes exercise there," pointing to the Pine Walk. 

" Did you say Sir Thomas's ghost, Mrs. Penn ? " I asked, 
laughing. 



THE NEW COMPANION. 251 

" The world says so. I hear that some of the maids here, 
seeing tlic sight, have arrived at the notion that it is only Mr. 
Harry Chandos given to come out of his room at night and 
take moonlight promenades." 

There was a ball in the window-seat, and I tossed it with 
iuditVcrcnce. She had got hold of the wrong story, and it was 
not my place to set her right. Hill came np, saying Mr. 
Chandos wished to sijeak to me ; but I did not hurry down. 

I had made my mind up to borrow sufficient money of him 
to take me to Nullo, and was trying to call up cotirago to ask 
for it. His leg was upon a rest when I went in, and he leaned 
back in his chair reading a ncwsjDajier. 

" I want to speak to you, Miss Hereford." 

" And I — wanted — to speak to you, sir, if you please," I said, 
resolutely, in spite of my natural hesitation. 

" Very well. Place aux dames. You shall have the first 
word." 

It appeared, however, that Lizzy Dene was to have that. 
She came in at the moment, asked leave to speak, and began a 
recital of a second visit she had paid the gipsies the previous 
night, in which she had accused them of having attacked Mr. 
Chandos. The recital was a long one, and delivered curiously, 
very fast and in one tone, just as if she were repeating from a 
book, and imparting the idea that it had been learnt by heart. 
She wound up with saying the gipsies quitted the common in 
the night ; and therefore no doubt could remain that one of the 
women had been the assailant. Mr. Chandos regarded her 
keenly. 

" Lizzy Dene, what is your motive for pursuing these gipsies 
in the way you do ? No one accuses them but you." 

" Motive, sir ? " returned the woman. 

" Ay ; motive," he pointedly said. " I shall begin to suspect 
that you know more about the matter than you would like 
made public. I think it is you to whom we must look for an 
exidanatiou, not the gipsies." 

Did you ever see a pale face turn to a glowing, fiery red ?^ 
the scarlet of confusion, if not of guilt ? So turned Lizzy 
Dene's to my utter amazement, and I think to that of her 



252 ANNE HEREFORD. 

master. Could she have had anything to do with the attack 
upon him ? She stammered forth a few deprecatory words, 
that, in suspecting the gipsies, she had only been actuated by 
the wish to serve Mr. Chaudos, and backed out of the parlour. 

Backed out to find herself confronted by a tall swarthy man, 
who had made his way into the hall without the ceremony of 
knocking for admittance. One of the gijisies unquestionably. 
Lizzie Dene gave a half-shriek and flew away, and the man 
came inside the room, fixing his piercing eyes upon those of 
Mr. Chandos. 

"It has been told to me this morning that you and your 
people accuse us of having assaulted you," he began, without 
prelude. "Master, I have walked back ten miles to set it 
right." 

" I have not accused you," said Mr. Chandos. " The assault 
upon me — if it can be called such — proceeded from a woman ; 
but I have no more reason to suspect that it was one of your 
women, than I have to suspect any other woman in the wide 
world." 

" 'Twas none of ours, master. We was 'camped upon your 
common, and you let us stoj) there umnolested ; some lords of 
the soil drive us gfl" ere we can pitch our tent, hunt us away as 
they'd hunt a haJ'e. You didn't ; you spoke kind to us, more 
than once in passing ; you spoke kind to our little children ; 
and we'd have protected you with our own lives, any of us, had 
need been. Do you believe me, master ? " 

The man's voice was earnest, and he raised his honest eyes, 
fierce though they were, to Mr. Chandos, waiting for the ques- 
tion to be answered. 

" I do believe you." 

" That's well, then, and what I came back hoping to hear. 
But now, master, I'll tell ye what I saw myself that same 
night. I was coming np toward this way, and you overtook 
me, riding fast. May be you noticed me, for 1 touched my 
hat." 

" I remember it," said Mr. Chandos, 

" You rode in at the gates at a hand gallop ; I could hear the 
horse's hoofs in the silence of the evening, I met one of our 



THE NEW COMPANION. 253 

fellows, and stopped to speak to him, which hindered me three 
— or four minutes ; and — you know them trees to the left of 
the gate, master, with posts afore em ? " 

" Well ? " said Mr. Chandos. 

" There stood a woman when I got up. She was taking off 
a grey cloak, and she folded it small and put it on her arm and 
walked away. Folks put on clothes at night, instead of taking 
'em off, was in my thoughts, and I looked after her." 

" Did you know her ? " 

" I never saw her afore. She was one in your condition of 
life, master, for her clothes were brave, and the rings glittered 
on her fingers. Next morning when we heard what had 
happened, we said she was the one. I have not seen her since. 
She seemed to be making for the railroad." 

" Why did you not come and tell me this at the time ? " 

" Nay, master, was it any business of mine ? How did I 
know I should be welcome ? or that our j)eoi)le was suspected ? 
That's all, sir." 

" Will you take some refreshment ? " said Mr. Chandos. " You 
are welcome to it." 

" Master, I don't need any." 

The man, with a rude salute to me, turned and departed, and 
we saw him treading the gravel walk with a fearless step. Mr. 
Chandos turned to me with a smile. 

" What do you think of all this ? " 

" I am sure that the gij)sies are innocent." 

" I have been tolerably sure of that from the first, for I knew 
that their interest did not lie in making an enemy of me ; 
rather the contrary ; what puzzles me, is Lizzy Dene's manner. 
But let us return to the matter we were interruj)ted in. Miss 
Hereford. Go on with what you were about to say." 

Very shrinkingly I began, standing close to him, giving him 
a sketch of the circumstances (Mrs. Paler's tardy payment) 
that caused me to be without money ; and asking him to lend 
me a trifle : just enough to take me back to Nulle. About a 
guinea, I thought, or a guinea and a half : I had a few shillings 
left still. Mr. Chandos seemed highly amused, smiling in the 
most provoking way. 



254 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Does Mrs. Paler really owe you thirty guineas '? " 

" Yes, sir. It is half a year's salary," 

" Thcu I think she ought to pay you." 

" Will you lend me the trifle, sir ? " 

" No. Not for tho purpose you name. I will lend you as 
much as you like to put in your pocket ; but not to take you to 
Nullc." 

" I must go, sir. At least I must go somewhere. And 1 only 
know the Miss Barlieus in all the world." 

" You wish to go because, in consequence of Emily's letter, 
you are deeming yoxirself an encumbrance at Chandos ? " 

I made no answer in words : the colour that flushed into 
my cheeks was all-sufiicient, 

" Let me speak to you confidentially," he said, taking my 
hand in his ; " for a few minutes we will understand each other 
as friends. I am grieved that Emily's carelessness should have 
been the cause of annoyance to you ; my mother will be sadly 
vexed when I tell her ; but you must now listen to the explana- 
tion. There are certain family reasons which render it inex- 
pedient for a stranger to be located at Chandos ; even Emily 
herself would not at all times be welcome. Emily left you 
here. As the days went on, and we heard nothing from her, 
my mother desired me to write and inquire when she would be 
over, and to reprove her thoughtlessness in leaving you at 
Chandos, when she knew why it was more expedient that we 
Siiould be alone ; I simply wrote what my mother desired me ; 
no more ; and this letter of Emily's to-day is the answer to it. 
Now you have the whole gist of the affair. But I must ask 
you fully to understand that it is not to you personally my 
mother has an objection ; on the contrary, she likes you ; the 
objection applies to any one, except its regular inmates, who 
may be at Chandos. If a royal princess oifered a visit here, 
she would be equally unwelcome. Do you understand this ? " 

" Quite so. But, understanding it, I can only see the more 
necessity for my leaving." 

" And where would you go ? " 

" To Nulle. To the Miss Barlieus." 

" No ; that would not do," he said. " Emily lias left you 



THE NEW COMPANION. 255 

here under our charge, aucl we cauuot part witli you, except to 
her. You said you must bo guided by mo in your reading; 
you must be guided by me also in this," 

" I should only bo too willing under happier circumstances. 
But you cannot imagine hov/ uncomfortablo is the feeling of 
kno\\ang that I am intruding here in opposition to the wish of 
Lady Chandos." 

" Lady Chandos does not blame you for it ; be assured of 
that. And I can tell you my mother has other things to think 
of just now than of you — or Emily cither. Will you try and 
make yourself contented '? " 

" You must please not say any more, Mr. Chandos. If I had 
nowhere else to go to, it would be a different thing ; but I have 
Miss Barlieu's house." 

" And suppose you had not that ? Would you make yourself, 
contented and stay ? " 

" Yes," I said, rashly. 

" Then be happy from this moment. Miss Barlieu's house is 
a barred one to you at present." 

Something like a leap of joy seemed to take my heart. His 
tone of truth was not to be mistaken. 

" Lady Chandos had a note from Miss Annette on Saturday," 
he said, his beautiful truthful eyes fixed on my face with the 
same steady earnestness that they had been all along. " Amidst 
other news it contained the unpleasant tidings that fever had 
broken out at NuUe ; one of their young ladies had been seized 
with it, and was lying very ill; and another was sickening 
for it." 

" Oh, Mr. Chandos ! " 

" So you see we should not allow you to go there just now. 
Neither Avoiild the Miss Barlieus receive you. As my mother 
observed, that news settled the qiiesticn." 

I remained silent : in my shock and perj)lexity. 

" Fever seems to be busy this autumn," he remarked, care- 
lessly. " It is in this neighboiirhood ; it is in Paris ; it is in 
Nulle : and probably in a great many more places." 

" But, Mr. Chandos ! what am I to do ? " 

" There is only one thing that you can do — or that Lady 



253 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Cliandos would allow you to do : and that is, stay here. Not 
another word, Miss Hereford. You can't help yourself, you 
know," he added, laughing ; " and we are happy to have you." 

" But the objection that Lady Chandos feels to having any 
one?" 

"Ah well — you will not be a dangerous visitor. If the 
worst came to the worst, we shall have to enlist you on our 
side, and make you take a vow of fidelity to Chandos and its 
interests." 

He was speaking in a laughing, joking way, so that one 
could not tell whether his words were jest or earnest. Still 
they were curious ones. 

" That is the situation, young lady, You can't help yourself, 
you see, if you would. How much money will you have ? " 

" Oh, sir, none. I do not require it, if I am not to go. 1 
wish — as 1 am to stay here — I could make myself useful to 
some one." 

" So you can ; you can be useful to me. I will constitute 
you my head-nurse and walking companion. I shall use your 
shoulder at will until my foot has its free use again. Take 
care I don't tire you out." 

He had kept my hand in his all that time, and now those 
deep blue speaking eyes of his, gazing still into mine, danced 
with merriment or pleasure. A thrill of rapture ran through 
me, and I never asked myself wherefore. Could it be that I 
was learning to love Mr. Chandos ? 

I sat in the oak-j)arlour through the live-long day ; I had 
nowhere else to sit but in my bedroom. Dangerous companion- 
ship ! — that of an attractive man like Mr. Chandos. 

Calling Hickcns to his aid in the afternoon, he went slowly 
ui> to the apartments of Lady Chandos, and I saw no more of 
him until dinner-time. Meanwhile I wrote a long letter to 
Miss Annette, expressing my great sympathy with the illness 
amidst the school-girls, and begging her to write and tell me 
which of them were ill, and also to let me know the very 
instant that the house should be safe again, for that I wanted 
to come to it. 

In the evening Mr. Chandos, his lamp at his elbow, read 



THE NEW COMPANION. 257 

iiloiul from a volume of Tennyson. I worked. Never had 
poetry souuded so sweet before ; never will it sound sweeter ; 
and when I went upstairs to bed, tbe musical measure, and 
that still more melodious voice, yet rang in my ears. 

To bed, but not to rest. What was the matter with rne ? I 
know not, but 1 could not sleej). Tossing and turning from 
side to side, now a line of the poems would recur to me : now 
would rise up the face of Mr. Chandos ; now the remembrance 
of Lady Chandos's vexation at my being there. As the clock 
struck one, I rose from my uneasy bed, determined to try 
Avhat walking about the chamber would do. Pulling the blind 
aside, quietly opening the shutters, I paused to look out on the 
lovely night, its clear atmosphere and its shining stars almost 
as bright as day. 

Why ! — \vas I awake ? or was I dreaming ? There, under 
the s>hade of the thick trees, keeping close to them, as if not 
wishing to be seen, but all too jxlain to me, nevertheless, paced 
Mr. Chandos, wrapped in a large overcoat. What had become 
of his lame foot ? That he walked slowly, as one does who is 
weak, there was no denying, but still he did not walk lame. 
Did, or would, a state of somnambulancy cause a disabled limb 
to recover temporary service and strength? Every sense T 
possessed, every reason, answered no. As I gazed at the sight 
ys-iih bewildered brain and beating heart, Mrs. Penn's words 
flashed over me — that it was the ghost of the dead Sir Thomas 
which was said to haunt the groves of Chandos. 

Could it be? Was I looking at a real ghost? We all 
know how susceptible the brain is to superstition in the lonely 
midnight hours, and I succumbed in that moment to an awful 
terror. Don't laugh at me. With a smothered cry, I flew to 
the bed, leaped in, and covered my face with the bedclothes. 

One idea was uppermost amid the many that crowded on me. 
If that was indeed the spirit of Sir Thomas, he must have died 
a younger man than I supposed, and have borne a great likeness 
to his son, Harry Chandos. 

The morning's bright sun dispelled all ghostly illusions. I 
went out of doors as soon as I got down, just for a run along 
the broad walk and back again. At the corner where the angle 

Amie Hereford. 17 



258 ANNE HEREFORD. 

hid the house, I came upon Mrs. Penn and the postman, only a 
few yards off. She had stopped to look at the addresses of the 
letters he was bringing. The sight sent me back again; but 
not before she turned and saw me. Not only did the action 
aj)pear to me dishonourable — one I could not have countenanced 
— but some instinct seemed to say that Mrs. Perm was un- 
justifiably prying into the affairs of the Chandos family. 

As Hickens took the letters from the man in the hall, Mrs. 
Penn came into the oak-parlour. I was pouring out my coffee 
then. 

" I am quite in despair," she exclaimed, flinging herself into 
a chair, with short ceremony. " These three days have I been 
expecting news of an invalid friend ; and it does not come. I 
hope and trust she is not dead ! " 

" Perhaps she is unable to write ? " 

" She is. I said news of her ; not from her. When I saw 
the postman come in at the gates just now, hojie rose up within 
me, and I ran to meet him. But hope was false. The man 
brought me no letter, nothing but disaj)pointment." 

I am not sure but I must have had a wicked heart about that 
time. Instead of feeling sympathy with Mrs. Penn and her 
sick friend, a sort of doubt came over me, that she was only 
saying this to excuse her having stopped the postman. She 
untied the strings of her black lace bonnet, and rose, saying 
she supposed breakfast would be ready by the time she got 
ujjstairs. 

" Mrs. Penn," I interposed, taking a sudden resolution to 
speak, " was that a joke of yours yesterday, about Sir Thomas 
Chandos ? " 

" About his ghost, do you mean ? It was certainly not my 
joke. Why?" 

" Nothing. I have been thinking about it." 

" I don't tell you the ghost comes ; but I should watch if I 
had the opportunity. The shutters in the front of the east 
wing are unfortunately fastened down with iron staples. I 
conclude — I conclude" repeated Mrs. Penn, slowly and thought- 
fully — " as a precaution against the looking out of Mrs, 
Chandos." 



TELEGRAPHING FOR A PHYSICIAN. 259 

"I dare say it is the greatest nonsense in the world. A 
ghost ! People have grown wise now." 

" I dare say it may be nonsense," she rejoined. " But for 
one thing I should heartily say it is nothing else." 

" And that one thing, Mrs. Penn ? " 

" I will not disclose it to you, Anne Hereford. The report 
is common enough in the neighbourhood. Inquire of any of 
the petty shopkeepers in the hamlet, and you will find it to be 
so. They will tell you that rumours have been afloat for a long 
while that Sir Thomas may be seen at night in the Pine Walk." 

She quitted the room as she spoke, leaving on my mind a 
stronger impresssion than ever that I had met her somewhere 
in my lifetime, had talked with her and she with me. There 
was in her manner an unconscious familiarity rarely indulged 
in save from old acquaintanceship. It was strange that she and 
Mr. Chandos should both strike on chords of my memory. 
Chords that would not be traced. 

They were fortunate in this new companion. Gathering a 
word from one and another, I heard she was thoroughly efficient. 
And they made much of her, treating her essentially as a lady. 
She went out in the carriage with Mrs. Chandos ; she talked to 
Mr. Chandos as an equal ; she patronized me. But a whisijcr 
floated through the house that the only one who did not take 
kindly to her was Mrs. Chandos. 



CHAPTEK XIX. 

TELEGRAPHIKG FOR A PHYSICIAN. 

Some uncomfortable days passed on. Uncomfortable in one 
sense. Heaven knows I was happy enough, for the society of 
Mr. Chandos had become all too dear, and in it I was basking 
away the golden hours. Looking back now I cannot sufficiently 
blame myself. Not for staying at Chandos ; I could not help 
that ; but for allowing my heart to yield unresistingly to the 
love. How could I suppose it would end ? Alas ! that was 
what I never so much as thought of: the present was becoming 



20O ANNE HEREFORD. 

too much of an Elysium for me to look (luestioningly beyond 
it ; it was as a very liaveu of sweet and happy rest. 

With some of the other inmates, things seemed to be anything 
but easy. Lady Chandos was still invisible ; and, by what I 
could gather, growing daily worse. Mr. Chandos, his lameness 
better, looked bowed down with a weight of apprehension. 
Hill was in a state of fume and fret ; and the women-servants, 
meeting in odd corners, sjioke whisperingly of the figure that 
niglitly haunted Chandos. 

What astonished me more than anything was, that no medical 
man was called in to Lady Chandos. Quite unintentionally, 
without being able to help myself, I overheard a few words 
spoken between Hill and Mr. Chandos. That Lady Chandos 
was dangerously ill, and medical aid an absolute necessity, 
api^eared indisputable ; and yet it seemed they did not dare to 
summon it. It was an unfathomable riddle. The 'surgeon from 
Hetton, Mr. Dickenson, came still to Mr. Chandos every day. 
What would have been easier than for him to go up to Lady 
( 'handos ? He never did, however ; he was not asked to do so. 
Day after day he would say, " How is Lady Chandos ? " and 
Mr. Chandos's reply would be, " Much the same." 

The omission also struck on Mrs. Penn. One day, when she 
had come into my chamber uninvited, she spoke of it abrui)tly, 
looking full in my face, in her keen Avay. 

" How is it they don't have a doctor to her ? " 

" What is the use of asking me, Mrs. Penn ? I cannot tell 
why they don't." 

" Do you never hear Mr. Chandos say why '? " 

" Never. At the beginning of her illness, he said his mother 
knew how to treat herself, and that she had a dislike to doctors." 

" There's more in it than that, I think," returned Mrs. Penn, 
in a tone of significance. " That surly Hill won't answer a 
single question. All I get out of her is, ' My lady's no better.' 
Mrs. Chandos goes into the west wing most days, but she is as 
close as Hill. The fact is — it is very unfortunate, but Mrs. 
Chandos appears to have taken a dislike to me." 

'• Taken a dislike to you ! " 

Mrs. Penn nodded. " And not a word upon any subject, 



TELEGRAPHING FOR A PHYSICIAN. 261 

save the merest conversational trifles, will she speak. But I 
have my own oi)iuion of Lady Chandos's illness : if I am right, 
their reticence is accounted for." 

Again the tone was so significant that I could but note it, 
and looked to her for an explanation. She dropped her voice 
as she gave it. 

" I think that the malady which has attacked Lady Chandos 
is not bodily, but mental ; and tliat they, in consequence, keep 
her in seclusion. Poor woman ! She has had enough trouble 
to drive her mad." 

" Oh, Mrs. Penn ! Mad ! " 

" I mean what I say." 

" But did you not have an interview with her when you came ? " 

" Yes, a short one, Harry Chandos was sitting with her, an-d 
went out, after a few words to me, staying in the next room. 
It seemed to me that she was impatient to have him back 
again : anyway, she cut the meeting very short. I am bound 
to say that she appeared collected then." 

Mrs. Penn lifted her hand glittering with rings, to her brow 
as she spoke, and pushed slightly back her glowing hair. Her 
face looked troubled — that sort of trouble that arises from 
perplexity. 

" Allowing it to be as you fancy, Mrs. Penn, they would 
surely have a doctor to her. Any medical man, if requc&i;ed 
would keep the secret." 

" Ah ! it's not altogether that, 1 expect," returned Mrs. Penn, 
with a curious look. " You would keep it, and I would keep 
it, as inmates of the family ; and yet you see how jealously we 
are excluded. I suspect the true motive is, that they dare not 
risk the revelations she might make." 

" What revelations ? " 

" You do not, perhaps, know it, Miss Hereford, but there is a 
sword hanging over the Chandos family," she continued, drop- 
ping her voice to a whisper. " An awful sword. It is sus- 
pended by a hair ; and a chance word of betrayal might cause 
it to fall. Of that chance word the Chandoses live in dread 
that Lady Chandos, if she be really insane, might inadvertently 
speak it " 



202 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Over wliich of them ? " I exclaimed, in dismay. 

" I had rather not tell you which. It lies over them all, so 
to say. It is that, beyond question, which keeps Sir Thomas 
in India : when the blow comes, he can battle with it better 
there than at home. They lie under sufficient disgrace as it is : 
they will lie under far gi-eater then." 

" They appear to be just those quiet, unpretending, honour- 
able people who could not invoke disgrace. They — surely you 
cannot be alluding to Miss Chandos's runaway marriage ! " I 
broke off, as the thought occurred to me. 

" Tush ! Runaway marriages are as good as others for all I 
see," avowed Mrs, Penn, with careless creed. " I question if 
Miss Chandos even knows of the blew that fell on them. I tell 
you, child, it was a fearful one. It killed old Sir Thomas ; it 
must be slowly killing Lady Chandos. Do you not observe 
how they seclude themselves from the world ? " 

" They might have plenty of visitors if they chose." 

" They doii't have them. Any one in the secret would 
wonder if they did. Looking back, there's the disgrace that 
has fallen ; looking forward, there's the terrible blow that has 
yet to fall." 

" What is the nature of the disgrace ? — what is the blow ? " 

Mrs. Penn shook her head resolutely. " I am unable to tell 
you, for two reasons. It is not my place to reveal private 
troubles of the family sheltering me ; and its details would not 
be meet for a young lady's ears. Ill doings generally leave 
their consequences behind them — as they have here. Harry 
Chandos " 

" There is no ill-doing attaching to liim," I interrupted, a 
great deal too eagerly. 

A smile of derison i)arted the lips of Mrs. Penn. I saw that 
it must be one of two things — Harry Chandos was not a good 
man, or else Mrs. Penn disliked him. 

" You don't know," she said. " And if you did, Harry 
Chandos can be nothing to you." 

Her light eyes were turned on me with a searching look, 
and my cheeks went into a red heat. Mrs. Penn gathered her 
conclusions. 



TELEGRAPHING FOR A PHYSICIAN. 263 

"Child," she impressively said, "if you arc acquiring any 
liking for Harry Chandos, f?/s-acqiiire it. Put the thouglit of 
him far from you. That ho may be a pleasant man in inter- 
course, I grant ; but he must not become too pleasant to you, or 
to any other woman. Never waste your heart on a man who 
cannot marry." 

" Cannot he marry ? " 

" No. But I am saying more than I ought," she suddenly 
added. " We get led on imconsciously in talking, and one 
word brings out another." 

I could have boxed her ears in my vexation. Never, never 
had the idea of marrying Mr. Chandos crossed my mind ; no, 
not in the wildest dream of di-eams. I was a poor dej)endent 
governess ; he was heir-presumptive to Sir Thomas Chandos. 

" To return to what I was saying of Lady Chandos," resumed 
Mrs. Penn. " Rely upon it, 1 am right : that she has been 
suddenly afflicted with insanity. There is no other way of 
accounting for the mystery attaching to that west wing." 

I sat ({own to think when she left me. To think. Could 
her theory possibly be true ? were there sufficient apparent 
grounds for it ? My poor brain — bewildered with the strange 
events passing around on the surface or beneath the surface, 
this new suj^position one of the strangest — was unable to 
decide. 

Had some one come in to say I had had a fortune left me, I 
could not have been more surprised than Avhen Hill appeared with 
a gracious face. Lady Chandos's carriage was going into Marden 
on an errand— would 1 like the drive there and back ? It 
might be a change for me. 

" You dear good Hill ! " I cried, in my delight. " I'll never 
call you cross again." 

" Then just please to put your things on at once, and leave 
off talking nonsense, Miss Hereford," was Hill's reproval. 

Again, as before, it was a lovely day, and altogether the 
greatest treat they could have given me. I liked the drive, 
and I liked the state it was taken in. A magnificent carriage 
and horses, powdered servants, and one pretty girl seated 
inside. Which was me ! 



2G4 ANNE HEREFORD. 

It was a good opi)ortunity to inquire after my lost handker- 
chief, and I told James to stop at Mrs. Howard's. Accordingly 
the carriage drew up there the first thing. But the answer was 
not satisfactory. Mrs. Howard was gone. " On the Continent," 
they believed. 

" When will she be back again ? " I asked, leaning from the 
carriage to speak. 

The servant girl, rather a dirty one and slipshod, did not 
know. Not at all, she thought. Mrs. Howard had left for 
good. 

" But does Mrs. Howard not live here ? Is not this her 
house ? " 

" No, ma'am. She lodged here for a little while ; that was 
all." 

I don't know why the information struck on my mind as 
curious, but it did so. Why should she have been there one 
day, as it were, and be gone the next ? It might be all right, 
however, and I fanciful. Mrs. Penn had said — Mrs. Howard 
herself had said — she was going to visit her daughter in 
Brussels. Only I had thought she lived in that house at 
Mar den. 

That evening I found I had to dine alone. Mr. Chandos 
was rather poorly, not able to eat any dinner, Hickens said. 
How solitary it was to me, no one knows. 

Afterwards, when I was sitting at the window in the dusk, 
he came downstairs. He had been in the Avest wing nearly all 
day. Opening his desk, he took out a bundle of letters : which 
appeared to be what he had come for. 

" You must feci lonely. Miss Hereford ? " 

" A little, sir." 

" That ' sir ! ' " he said, with a smile. " I am sorry not to be 
able to be down here with you. Wlicn I get better, we will 
have our pleasant times again." 

I was standing up by the table. He held out his hand to 
shake mine. Thin and shadowy he always looked, but his face 
wore a grey hue in the dusk of the room, 

" I fear you are very ill, sir. Suppose it should be thg 
fever ? " 



TELEGRAPHING FOR A PHYSICIAN. 2G5 

" It is not the fever." 

" But how can you tell it is not ? " 

" Do not be alarmed. It is nothing but — but wliat I luivo 
had before. Good-night, and take care of yourself." 

His tone was strangely sad, his sjiirits were evidently 
depressed, and a foreboding of ill fell upon me. It was not 
lessened when I heard that a bed was made up for him in the 
west wing, that Lady Chandos and Hill might be within call 
in the night in case of need. 

Therefore, when consternation broke over the house next 
morning, I Avas half prepared for it. Mr. Chandos was alarm- 
ingly ill, and a telegraj)hic express had gone up at dawn for a 
London physician. 

It was so sudden, so unexpected, that none of the household 
seemed able to comprehend it. As to Hill, she bustled about 
like one demented. A large table was jdaced at the west wing 
door, and things likely to be wanted in the sick-room were 
carried up and put there, ready to her hand. 

The physician, a Dr. Amos, arrived in the afternoon, the 
carriage having been sent to await him at the Hetton terminus. 
A slight-made man, dressed in black, with a lioman nose, and 
glasses resting on it. Hickens marshalled him to the door of 
the west wing, where Hill received him. 

He stayed a long time ; but they said he was taking refresh- 
ments as well as seeing his patient. The servants all liked 
Mr. Chandos, and they stood i^ccping in doorways, anxious for 
the doctor to come out. Hill came down and caught them, a 
jug in hand. 

" Hill, do wait a moment and tell me ! " I cried, as they flew 
away. " Does he find Mr. Chandos dangerously ill ? " 

" There's a change for the better," she answered. " Mr. 
Chandos will be about again to-morrow or next day. For 
goodness sake don't keep me with questions now, Miss 
Hereford ! " ■ 

Not I. I did not care to keep her after that good news ; and 
I ran away as light as a bird. 

The carriage drew up to the portico, and Dr. Amos came 
down to it attended by Hickens and Hill. After he jjasscd the 



2G6 ANNE HEREFORD. 

parlour-door, I looked out of it, and saw Mr. Dexter come up. 
He had heard the news of Mr. Chandos's illness, and had come 
to inquire after him. Seeing the gentleman, who carried 
physician in his every look, about to step into the carriage, Mr. 
Dexter had no difficulty in divining who he was. Raising his 
hat, he accosted him. 

" I hope, sir, you have not found Mr. Harry Chandos seriously 
ill ? " 

" Mr. Harry Chandos is very ill indeed ! — very ill ! " replied 
Dr. Amos, who appeared to be a pleasant man. " I fear there 
are but faint hopes of him." 

" Good Heavens ! " cried the thunderstruck agent when he 
was able to speak. "But faint hopes'? How awfully sudden 
it must have come on ! " 

" Sudden '? Not at all. It has been coming on for some 
time. He may have grown rapidly worse, if you mean that. 
In saying but faint hopes, I mean, of course, of his eventual 
recovery. He will not be quite laid by yet." 

Dr. Amos entered the carriage with the last words, and it 
drove away, leaving his hearers to digest them ; leaving me 
with a mist before my eyes and pulses that had ceased to beat. 
Hill's sharp tones broke the silence, bearing harshly upon Mr. 
Dexter. 

" What on earth need yon have interfered for ? Can't a 
doctor come and go from a place but ho must be smothered with 
questions ? If you have anything to ask, you can ask me." 

" Why, Mrs. Hill, what do you mean ? " remonstrated the 
agent. " I intended no harm, and I have done no harm. But 
what a pitiable thing about Mr. Chandos ! " 

" Doctors are not always oracles," snapped Hill. " My 
opinion's as good as his, and I know Mr. Chandos icill get 
better : there's every chance that he'll be about to-morrow. 
The bad symptoms seem to be going off as suddenly as they 
came on. 

" Hill," I whispered, laying hold of her gown as she was 
flouncing past me, " you say he may be about to-morrow ; but 
will he get well eventually ? " 

" That's another affair," answered Hill. 



TELEGRAPHING FOR A rHYSICIAN. 2G7 

" Dr. Amos said it had been coming on a long time," I 
pursued, detaining her still. " What comiilaint is it ? " 

" It's just a complaint that you had better not ask about, for 
your curiosity can't be satisfied, Miss Hereford," was Hill's 
response, as she broke away. 

Broke away, leaving me. In my dreadful uncertainty, I 
went up to Hickens, who was standing still, looking so sad, 
and asked him to tell mc what was the matter with Mr. Chandos. 

" I don't know any more than you, miss. Mr. Chandos has 
had a vast deal of grief and trouble, and it may be telling upon 
him. He has looked ill of late." 

No comfort anywhere — no rest. How I got through the day 
I don't know. It seemed as if I had received my death-knell, 
instead of he his. 

Hill's opinion, in one respect, proved to be a correct one, for 
the next day Mr. Chandos appeared to the household. He 
came down about twelve o'clock, looking pale and subdued — 
but so he often looked — and I must say I could not detect 
much change in him. Starting from my seat in the oak- 
parlour, as he entered it, I went up to him in the impulse of 
the moment. He took both my hands. 

" Glad to see me again ? " 

" Yes, I am glad," I whispered, calming down my excitement, 
and swallowing the intrusive tears that had risen. "Mr. 
Chandos, are you so very ill ? " 

" Who has been telling you that I am ? " he inquired, walk- 
ing to an arm-chair by help of my shoulder, for his ankle was 
weak yet, but not releasing me when he had sat down in it. 

" I heard Dr. Amos say so. He said " 

" What did he say ? Why do you stop ? " 

I could not answer. I could not disclose the opinion I had 
heard. 

" I suppose you were within hearing when the doctor said he 
had but faint hopes of me ? " 

" Yes, I was. But, Mr. Chandos, who could have told you 
that Dr. Amos said it ? " 

"I was told," he smiled. "All are not so cautious as you, 
my little maid." 



268 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" But I lioi)e it is not true. I hope you will get well." 

" Woiild it give you any concern if I did not '? " 

My face flushed as I stood before him. Instead of answering, 
I bent it like a culprit — like a simpleton. 

" I may cheat the doctors yet," he said, cheerfully. 

" Have you been ill long ? " 

" I have not been quite well. Anxiety of mind sometimes 
takes its revenge upon the body." 

He moved away to his desk as he spoke, which stood on a 
side-table. It was quite evident he ditl not wish to pursue the 
topic. What cotild I do but let it drop? Taking up my work, 
I carried it to the window, whilst he stood rummaging the 
desk, evidently searching for something. Every individual 
thing was at length turned out of it and put back again. 

" Well, it's very strange ! " 

" What is it, sir ? " That sir ! as he would say. But I felt 
too shy, in my new and all-conscious feeling for him, to discard 
it entirely. 

He had missed his note-book. One he was in the habit of 
using for any pur2)ose ; as a sort of diary, and also to cuter 
business matters. That he had locked it up in his desk when 
he last wrote in it, two days ago, he felt absolutely certain. 

" Have you left your keys about, sir ? " 

" I don't know. I generally piit them in my pocket. But if 
I did leave them about, no one would use them. Our servants 
are honest." 

The book, however, could not be found. Mr. C'handos looked 
for it, I looked, the servants looked. He said, in a joking sort 
of manner, that some sleight-of-hand must have been at work ; 
and sat down to write a letter. I saw its address : London, 
Henry Amos, M.D. 

Whilst making tea foj* Mr. Chandos in the evening, a dis- 
cussion arose about the date of Emily's last letter, and I ran to 
my room to get it. Just within the door I encountered Lizzy 
Dene, darting out with a haste that nearly knocked me down. 

" What did you want in my room, Lizzy ? " 

She murmured some incoherent answer about taking the 
housemaid's place that evening. A lame excuse. All work 



I'ELEGRAPIllXG FOK A WIYSICIAX. 2G9 

Connected with the chambers had to be done by daylight ; it 
was a rule of the house. I had had doubts, vague and in- 
definable, of Lizzy Dene for some days —that the girl was not 
altogether what she seemed. She looked red and confused now. 

Emily's letter was not to bo found. And yet I knew that I 
had tied it uji with two or three others and left the packet in a 
certain compartment of my smaller trunk. Both boxes looked 
as though they had been searched over, for the things Avere not 
as I placed them. But I missed nothing, except the letters. 
Lizzy was in the gallery now, jjcering out at the window close 
by ; I called to her to come in, and bade her shut tlie door. 

" Boxes opened ! Letters gone ! " she retorted, in a passionate 
tone — though I had only mentioned the fact. " I have never 
laid a finger on anything belonging to you, miss. It's come to 
a pretty pass if I am to be suspected of that." 

" Will you tell me what you vrere doing in my room, 
Lizzy? " 

" No I won't ! " Doggedly. 

" I insist upon knowing : or I shall call Mrs. Hill." 

" Well then, I will tell ; I can't be hung for it," she returned, 
with sudden resolution. " I came into your room, miss, to look 
for something in the grounds that I thought might come there." 

" The ghost '? " I said, incautiously. 

"So yov know of it, miss!" was her answer. "Yes; it is 
walking a jain : and I'm veering round to their way of thought, 
Mrs. Hill has locked up the turret, so that look-out is barred 
to us." 

She pulled open the door with a jerk, and departed. The 
draught of air blew out my frail wax tajjer, and I went to the 
window : Lizzy had left the curtains and shutters open. I had 
no fear ; it never occurred to me that there could be anything 
to see. But superstition is catching, and — what did my eyes 
rest upon? 

In the old spot, hovering about the entrance to the Pino 
Walk, was a man's shadowy figure ; the one I had been told to 
believe was looked upon as the ghost of Sir Thomas Chandos. 

These things can be laughed at in the open day, in the broad 
sunshine. We are ready then to brave ghosts, to acknowledge 



270 ANNE HEREFORD. 

them to be myths of the fancy, as indisputably as we know the 
bogies of children to be puppets dressed up to frighten them ; 
but all alone in the darkness the case is diiferent. I was by 
myself on that vast floor ; Lizzy Dene had gone down, the 
wing-doors were shut, silence reigned. Once more terror got 
the better of me, the pacing figure was all too shadowy, and 
downstairs I flew, crossed the lighted hall, and burst into the 
oak-parlour to Mr. Chandos. 

" Have you been waiting to re-write the letter ? " he asked, 
" oblivious that your tea stood here, getting cold ! " 

I could make no answer just yet, but sank into my seat with 
a white face. 

"You look as though you had seen a ghost," he jestingly 
said. 

And then I burst into tears, just for a moment ; the effect 
no doubt of nervous excitement. Mr. Chandos rose at once, his 
manner changing to one of tender kindness. 

" Has anything alarmed you ? " 

"I cannot find Madame de Mellissie's letter," was all I 
answered, feeling vexed with myself. 

" But that is not the cause of this. Something has frightened 
you. Come, Miss Hereford ; I must know what it is," he con- 
cluded, with that quiet command of manner so few resist. 

I did not: jierhaps did not care to: and told h n briefly 
what had occurred. Not mentioning susjHcions of L zzj Dene 
or what slie said ; but simply that the woman had opened the 
door too hastily, thereby putting my candle out — and then on 
to what I had seen. 

" It must have been one of the gardeners," he quietly observed. 
" Why should that have alarmed you ? " 

That the gardeners never remained in the gardens after 
twilight, obeying the strict orders of the house, I knew. " Not 
a gardener," I answered, " but a ghost." And, taking courage, 
I told him all I had heard — that a ghost was said to walk 
nightly in the grounds. 

" Whose ghost ? " he asked, with angry sharpness. 

" Your late father's, sir ; Sir Thomas Chandos." 

He turned quickly to the mantelpiece, put his elbow on it, 



TELEGRAPHING FOR A PHYSICIAN. 271 

and stood there with his back to me. But that his face had 
looked so troubled, I might have thought he did it to indulge 
in a quiet laugh. 

" Miss Hereford, you cannot seriously believe in such non- 
sense ! " 

" No, indeed ; not in collected moments ; but I was left 
alone in the dark, and the surprise at seeing some one changed 
to fright." 

" May I inquire from whom you heard this fine tale V " 

"From Mrs. Penn first. But the women-servants talk of 
it. Lizzy Dene confessed she had gone up now to watch 
for it." 

He turned round quickly. " What do you say ? Lizzy Dene 
went up to watch for it ? " 

" I was not pleased at finding Lizzy in my room ; she has no 
business to take her there, and I insisted upon knowing what 
took her to it. At first she would not say, but presently con- 
fessed : she had gone to watch for the ghost." 

If ever a man's countenance betrayed a sickly dread, Mr. 
Chandos's did then. He went to the door, hesitated, and came 
back again, as if scarcely knowing what to be about. 

" And she saw it ? — saw some one walking there ? She, and 
you?" 

" I don't tliink she did ; I saw it after she had gone. Oh, 
Mr. Chandos ; I can see you are angry with me ! I am very 
sorry ; I " 

" Angry ? no," he interrupted, in a gentle tone. " I only 
think how foolish you must be to listen to anything of the sort. 
I wish I could have shielded you from this alarm ! I wish you 
had not come just now to Chandos ! " 

He rang the bell ; a loud peal ; and desired that Hill should 
be sent to him. I had never seen his face so stern as when he 
turned it upon her. 

" Can you not contrive to keep the women-servants to their 
proper occupations. Hill? I hear they are going about the 
house looking after ghosts." 

" Sir ! " 

" Miss Hereford went to her room just now, and found Lizzy 



212 Anne Hereford. 

Dene at its window. The woman said she was watching foi? 
the ghost." 

Hill's face presented a incture. She stood more like a 
petrifaction than a living woman. Mr. Chandos recalled her 
to herself. 

" Hill ! " was all he said. 

" I'll see about it, sir. I'll give that Lizzy Dene a word of 
a sort." 

" I think you had better give her no ' word ' at all, in the 
sense you indicate," returned Mr. Chandos. " Keep the wurnen 
to their duties below at night, and say nothing. Let the ghost 
die out, Hill." 

" Very well, sir." 

" As I dare say it will do, quietly enough. Sit with them 
yourself, if necessary. And — Hill — there's no necessity to 
mention anything of this to Lady Chandos." 

" But— Mr. Harry " 

" Yes, yes ; I know what you would say," he interrujited ; 
" leave that to me." 

He went limping out at the hall-door as he spoke. Hill dis- 
ap2)eared in the direction of the kitchens, muttering angrily. 

" That wretch of a Lizzy ! If she should get sjn'eading this 
among the outdoor men ! I always said that girl brought no 
good to Chandos." 



CHAPTEE XX. 

LIZZY DENE. 

" For my heart was hot and restless : 
And my life was full of care ; 
And the burden laid upon me 

Seemed greater than I could bear." 



Seated back in the shade, where the sunlight of the afternoon 
did not fall ui)on him, I saw him lift his hands at the last line, 
with a gesture half of despair, half of prayer, and then lay 
tliem on liis pale face. Whatever his burden might be, it was 



LIZZY DENE. 273 

a heavy one. It was ho wlio had asked nie to sing— Mr. 
Chaudos ; for the first time since I was in the house. Not 
much of a singer at the best, I never ventured on any but the 
most simple songs : and, of modern ones, " The Bridge," set to 
music by Miss Lindsay, is the sweetest. 

" i?ut now it has fallen from me ; 
It is buried in the sea ; 
And onlj' the sorrow of othcra 
Tlirows its sliadow over me." 

Rather boisterously the door was opened, and Mrs. Pcnn 
came in. Her hair was decidedly of a more glowing red than 
usual ; but her light green gown of damask silk, her point-lace 
lappets thrown behind, her gold ornaments, ay, and herself, were 
altogether handsome. Mr. C'handos rose. 

" Oh, I beg your pardon," she said, " for entering so uncere- 
moniously. Hearing the piano, I though Miss Hereford was 
alone." 

I turned round on the music-stool and sat facing the room. 
Mr. C'handos handed her a chair. 

" Thank you," she said, hesitating to take it. " Mrs. 
Chandos is in the west wing : but perhaps I shall be intruding 
if I remain ? " 

" Not at all," replied Mr. Chandos. " Miss Hereford may bo 
glad of your company. I am going to the west wing myself." 

" Have you found your manuscript, Mr. Chandos ? " 

" What manuscript ? " 

She paused a moment. " I heard yesterday you had lost one. 
When Emma came in about her housemaid's duties last evening, 
she mentioned it. ' 

It may as well be said, en passant, that Emma was housemaid 
to the east wing ; Harriet to the chambers on the first floor 
generally, mine included ; Lizzy Dene to the west wing : but it 
would frequently be the pleasure of Lady Chandos that Lizzy 
did not enter her apartments for days together, only Hill. 

" It was a memoi'andum-book ; not a manuscript," said Mr. 
Chandos. 

" Oh ; I understood her to say a manuscript." 

" I have not found it," he continued. " Fortunately tho 

Anne Hereford. Xo 



274 ANNE HEREFORD. 

contents are of little consequence. They consist chiefly of notes 
relative to the everyday business of the estate, and a fev 
private items concerning myself. Some things are entered in 
hieroglyphics of my own," he continued, with a half-laugh, 
" and I'll defy the thief to make them out, however clever he 
may be. The singular thing is, how it could have disappeared 
from my desk." 

" You must have left your keys about," she quickly said. 

" That is more than likely. Having honest people about me 
at Chandos, I have not been very particular." 

" It is a bad practice to leave keys where they may be picked 
tip and used ; it gives opportunities that otherwise might never 
have been seized upon," observed Mrs. Penn, in a dreamy tone. 

" Not a bit of it, madam. Unless dishonest people are at 
hand to take advantage of the opportunities." 

" Then how do you think your book can have gone, Mr. 
Chandos ? " 

" Well, I cannot think. I am content to leave the elucidation 
to time." 

Mrs. Penn looked at him : she seemed to be hesitating over 
something. It was so palpable that Mr. Chandos noticed it. 

" What is it ? " he asked. 

"I think I will speak," she said, with sudden decision. 
" Though indeed I do not like to do so, Mr. Chandos : and I 
certainly should not, but for hearing of this loss of yours. I 
have had a small loss too." 

Mr. Chandos sat down ; he had been standing since she 
came in ; and waited for her to continue. 

" It is not of much value ; but — as you say by your book — it 
is the fact of its having gone that troubles me. Only a bit of 
what we call Honiton lace, about three yards of it, two inches 
in width. That it was safe in my work-box yesterday morn- 
ing I know. This morning it was no longer there." 

" Was the work-box locked ? " 

"It was. I had left it in the library, locked. My keys 
were in a drawer of my bedroom, where I keep them, for they 
arc heavy, and weigh down my dress-pockets. Curious to say, 
upon looking for my keys this morning, I found them not in 



LIZZY DENE. 275 

the usual drawer, but in the fellow-drawer beside it. Whoever 
had taken them out forgot which was the right drawer and put 
them back in the wrong one." 

" And you missed the lace ? " 

" Yes. It happened that I was going to use it to trim some 
sleeves : but for that I might not have missed it for weeks. 
It was in the bottom of the work-box, lying on the top of some 
other things : as soon as I lifted the upper tray, I saw it was 
gone. Of course I searched the box over, but without result." 

" Have you si)oken to the servants ? " 

" I have not said much, lest they should think I accused 
them. What I said was that I had lost or mislaid some lace ; 
and described it. They all appear to be quite innocent. Still, 
the lace ceuld not go without hands." 

" I don't like this," observed Mr. Chandos, after a pause. 

" It is not the loss in itself — as I say : it is the feeling of 
insecurity that it leaves," returned Mrs. Penn. " One cannot 
be sure that other things will not follow. But I must not 
detain you longer," she added, rising. " I hope, Mr. Chandos, 
you will not think I have been wrong or unkind in mentioning 
this." 

" I think you have done quite right, Mrs. Penn," he warmly 
replied, as he opened the door for her. " If we really have a 
thief in the house, the sooner we are upon our guard the better. 
Take greater care of your keys for the present. As to the lace, 
Mrs. Chandos will make it good to you — " 

" Sir ! " she interrupted, rather fiercely. " Oh, pray don't 
talk in that way ; I shall be vexed to have mentioned it. The 
loss is nothing." 

She left the room. Not a word had I spoken all the time ; 
not a syllable as to my own boxes having been visited. I did 
not care to throw any acciisation upon Lizzy Dene. Besides, 
tlie matter seemed to present contradiction to my mind : as 1 
found by the next words it was doing to that of Mr. Chandos. 

" I cannot fathom this at all : unless we have two light- 
fingered people in the house. Mrs. Penn's lace must have 
been cribbed by one of the maids, I fear ; biit it is hardly likely 
that she would take a memorandum-book. Where would be 



276 ANNE HEREFOKD. 

tlie use of it to any one of them ? There were things of value 
in my desk, not touched : a gold paper-knife ; a large gold 
seal ; and some loose silver. Well, we must wait ; and mean- 
while take care of our keys," he concluded, as he left the parlour. 

I finished my interrupted song in a low voice, sang another 
one or two, and then went up to my room. Mrs. Penn was 
standing at the library-door. 

" Has Mr. Chandos gone into the west wing, do you know, 
Miss Hereford ? " 

" I think so. He left the parlour almost as soon as you did." 

" I am sorry to have missed him. I don't know what he'll 
think of me. Did you notice my omission ? " 

" What omission ? " 

" Never to have asked after his health. I feel ashamed of 
myself. I have not seen him since the day's illness he had, 
when the physician came down to him. I hale to be unfeeling," 
added Mrs. Penn. " But what with seeing him in the oak- 
parlour when I expected only you were there, and what with 
the thought of my lace, I completely forgot it." 

" He says he is better. I think he must be very much better 
from the alarming state they said he was in that day. But he 
looks ill." 

" That's caused by worry," said Mrs. Penn. " I should 
wonder if he coidd look well. Look at his figure : it's no 
better than a skeleton's." 

We had been walking together to the end of the library. I 
don't know whether I have mentioned it before, but every 
evening, a good hour before dusk, the door of this library was 
locked for the night by Hill, and the key carried away in her 
pocket. Mrs. Penn turned to me as we stood together at the 
window, dropping her voice to a whisper. 

" Was there nut something nujsterknis about his illness?" 

Frankly speaking, I thought there was. But in mind I had 
connected it in some undefined way with his sleep-walking. J 
could not say this, 

" But that he is so remarlcably unlikely a subject for it, I 
should think it had been a fit," slie continued. " Did you liear 
whether the Loi^don doctor also saw Lady Chtmdos ? " 



LIZZY DENE. 277 

" No, I tlitl not. Tlieres no one to inqiiire of, except Hill. 
And you know how much information we should be likely to 
get from licr." 

" Except him," corrected Mrs. Penn, with emphasis. "With 
all his sins, Harry Chandos is a gentleman, and would give you 
an answer." 

I shook my head. It was not my place, a young visitor there 
on sufferance, to inquire of things they seemed to wish to keep 
secret : and I said as much to Mrs. Penn. 

" You are too fastidious. Miss Hereford ; you are no better 
than a school-girl. Look here," she added, turning briskly, 
" this is the work-box. I will show you where the lace was." 

It was a large, handsome box of tortoise-shell inlaid with 
silver, its fittings of silver and sky-blue velvet ; its scissors, 
thimble, bodkin, and stiletto of gold. 

" I wonder they did not take these as well as the lace." 

" They might be afraid to do that," said Mrs. Penn. " See ! " 
she cried, lifting the tray, " it lay there. It was a very hand- 
some piece of lace, and I am sorry to lose it." 

The sweeping of a silk dress along the corridor gave token 
of the approach of Mrs. Chandos. She passed into the east 
wing, and Mrs. Penn hastened after her. Standing at the\loor 
of the west wing, as if he had attended Mrs. Chandos from it, 
was Mr. Chandos. He saw us both come out of the library. 

Where he had his dinner that day I don't know. Mine was 
over and the things were taken away before I saw him again. 
I had been upstairs for a book and met him in the hall. He 
followed me to the oak-parlour and threw himself into a chair, 
like one utterly weary. 

" You have not been walking much, have you, Mr. Chandos ? " 

" Not much ; my foot's too weak yet. I have been taking a 
turn or two in the Pine Walk. And you? Have you been 
spirit-gazing again ? " 

I did not answer, except by a shake of the head, and he sat 
for a long while in silence, breaking it at last abruptly. 

" Does Mrs. Penn get looking from the front windows, after 
that — that sight — that you professed to see the night before 
last ? " 



278 ANNE HEREFORD. 

' I think she would like to do so : but there's no opportunity. 
The rooms in the east wing do not look to the front, you 
know." 

" Ah, I see you and she get talking of this together." 

" The talking has been very little, and of her seeking, not 
mine. I would rather she never spoke to me at all about it : 
it embarrasses me." 

" Why does it embarrass you ? " 

" Well ? " he said, looking straight ai, me. 

" I don't like to say, Mr. Chandos." 

He left his chair and came to the window, where I stood 
playing with the jessamine. How soft the air was ! how sweet 
the j)erfume of the flowers in the approaching night ! 

" Now then. I have come to hear what you mean." 

The tones were persuasive : the face, as it drooped a little, 
wore a smile that invited confidence. I bent my head and told 
him— that I thought what jieople had seen at midnight and 
taken for a ghost might be himself walking in his sleep ; but 
that I could not say this to Mrs. Penn. He made no rejoinder 
whatever. He lifted his head and gazed straight out towards 
the entrance to the Pine Walk. 

" Shall I tell Mrs. Penn that it is not a ghost at all, sir, and 
set her mind, so far, at rest ? I need not give any particulars." 

" But suj^pose it is a ghost, Miss Hereford ? " 

The tones were very sad and serious. My heart beat a little 
quicker. 

" Did you not assure me you saw it the other night — when I 
was safe in this very parlour ? " 

" Yes ; but I thought afterwards it might be what you said — 
one of the gardeners. Night-light is so deceptive." 

" Come back for his tools," added Mr. Chandos. " Mrs. Penn, 
however, says it is something else that walks there — my late 
father's spirit. Do you think she believes it ? " 

" Yes. She spoke as if she did believe it : and dreaded it. 
Shall I tell her she need not do so ? " 

" No," he sadly said. " I cannot unfortunately ask you to do 
that." 



LIZZY DENE. 279 

What did the speech mean ? Did it really bear the intima- 
tion that he could not in truth deny it '? Something like a 
tremor, with that dark and weird Pine Walk within sight, crept 
over me. Mr. Chandos leaned from the window, jilucked a 
white rose, and put it into my hand. 

" There," he said, " that's better than talking of ghosts. 
And, Miss Hereford — keep your curtains above closed after 
dark : I don't like to be watched when I go out there." 

He rang the bell for lights and tea. Ah, that rose, that rose ! 
Does any one, reading this, remember receiving one from a 
beloved hand ? Had it been a flower from Paradise it could 
not have borne for me a greater charm. The skies were 
brighter, the coming night was sweeter, the whole atmosphere 
seemed impregnated with a bliss, not of this world. My heart 
was wild with happiness ; the rose was worth more than 
Golconda's costliest diamonds. I have it still. I shall keep it 
for ever. 

" And now for a cup of tea, if you'll give me one. Miss 
Hereford." 

I turned from the window, the rose held carelessly in my 
lingers, and put it down, as of no moment, beside the tray. 
Afterwards he remained talking to me a little time, and then 
rose to leave for the evening. 

" I wish I could stay longer ; it is very lonely for you," he 
said, as he shook hands. " But my mother feels lonely too ; 
and so — I must divide myself as I best may." 

" Is not Lady Chandos better ? " I asked, interrujiting his 
light laugh. 

" Some days she is. Not much so on the whole." 

" And you, sir ? " 

I suppose I looked at him wistfully, for he put his hand for 
a moment on my head, and bent his kind face. 

" Don't be anxious for me. I am sorry you heard what Amos 
said. I am very much better than I was the day he was here. 
Good-night." 

It was all dreary again ; sunshine had gone out ; and I went 
up to bed at half-past nine. The first thing I did was to kiss 
the rose before putting it away : my checks burn at confessing 



280 ANNE HEREFORD. 

it as they burnt then. And in the very midst of the sweet 
folly my chamber-door was knocked at, and Mrs. Penn came in. 

" How early you have come up ! Dull ? Ay, I dare say you 
do find it so. But I can't stay a moment. I want you to do 
me a favour, Anne Hereford. When Mrs. Chandos shall be in 
bed and asleep to-night, let me come to your room." 

" What for ? " I exclaimed, in great surprise. 

" I want to watch from your windows. I want to see whether 
it is a ghost that is said to haunt the walks at nights : or — 
whether it is anything else. I knew the late Sir Thomas, and 
should recognize " 

" Hush, Mrs. Penn," I interrupted. Every impulse my mind 
possessed prompted me to deny the request. " It is what I 
cannot do. I might grow very frightened myself; but it is 
not that ; it is that I am a visitor in the family, and would not 
pry into an aftair that must no doubt be one of pain and 
annoyance to them. Don't you perceive that it would be 
dishonourable ? I keep my curtains closed at night, you see ; 
und no persuasion would induce me to allow them to bo opened." 

" You are a foolish girl," she said, with good humour. " Hill 
locks uj) the other rooms at dusk : and if she did not, I should 
be too great a coward to watch alone in them. A love of the 
marvellous was born with me ; I may say a terror of it ; and 
my early training served to increase this. As a child I was 
allowed to read ghost-stories ; my nurse used to tell them in 
my hearing to her companions ; of course it could but bear 
fruit. I think it perfectly wicked to allow such tales to 
penetrate to the impressionable imaginations of young children ; 
they never wholly recover it." 

" But you cannot seriously believe in ghosts, Mrs. Penn ! " 

" I should be ashamed to avow that I do believe in them. 
And yet the subject bears for me both a terror and a charm : 
nay, a strange fascination." 

That she spoke the truth now was evident ; though I could 
not think she always did. I stood waiting for her to go. 

" And so you will not let me come. Miss Hereford ! Well, 
perhaps you are right : it never occurred to me that the family 
might feel annoyed at it. Good-niglit." 



LIZZY dene:. 281 

But I (lid not trust her : slic might steal in while I slept : 
and I turned the key of my door inside for the first time since 
I was at Chandos. 

The next day was a gloomy one. Not as to weather ; that 
was bright enough ; but for me. Mr. Chandos was awa3\ 
Gone out somewhere by rail, very far ; and w^ould not be back 
until night. 

" Is he well enough to bear the fatigue, Hickens ? " I could 
not hclj) asking the butler as he stood by me at breakfast. 

" Well, miss, I should say ho is 7iot ^.ve\l enough. Hill says 
it is some pressing business for my lady that he has gone upon ; 
and Mr. Harry is one to go through with any duty, let ]iim be 
■well or ill ; ay, though he died for it.'' 

Idling away the morning desultorily, I got through an hour 
or two. Was this new feeling making me worthless? Half 
ashamed of myself as the question flashed over me, I took out 
a German book of study, and settled down to it on a bench 
amidst the trees, not far from the entrance-gates, and near the 
Privet Walk wdiere I had once met Edwin Barley. Whilst I 
was reading steadily, a voice began speaking at a little distance, 
and I recognized it as his. 

Edwin Barley's. Did he habitally come to the shady walk ? 
The intervening shrubs hid me from him, and him from me ; 
for some minutes I could do nothing but give way to my fear ; 
and did not dare to stir hand or foot. 

Some one was speaking with him ; whether man or woman I 
could not tell, the voice was so faint. And it seemed that 
wliile Mr. Barley must have had his face turned to me, and the 
wind, setting this w^ay, bore his accents with it, the other person 
must have faced the opposite way, and the voice was lost. 

" You are stupid, woman ! " were the first distinct w'ords I 
heard from him, seemingly spoken in sudden petulance. 
" Where's the use of your telling mo this much, if you can't tell 
more ? " 

It was a woman, then. Sure and swiftly came the conviction 
of her identity to me with a force I could not account for, 
Lizzy Dene. 

" It must have been a very serious attack, for a physician to 



282 ANNE HEREFORD. 

be telegrapliecl for in such liaste," resumed Mr. Edwin Barley. 
" And to be well again now to go out for a whole day by rail ! " 

A pause. It was taken up by the answer, but of that I could 
not hear so much as a tone. Mr. Edwin Barley resumed. 

" There's a mystery about it all that I can't fathom. A 
mystery altogether about Harry Chandos. That attack upon 
him in the avenue was a curious thing. And his mother ? Is 
she visible yet ? " 

Another inaudible reply. 

" Well, you must work better, if you work at all. This is 
your affair, mind ; not mine ; I did not ask you to bring me 
news, or to look into letters — what do you say ? Not able to 
look into letters ? You can read, I suppose ? " 

It is Lizzy Dene, my conscience whispered me ; for a half 
doubt had been crossing me of Mrs. Penn. 

" Oh, I understand ; don't get the chance of looking into 
them ? " he went on. " Well — it is your own affair, I repeat ; 
but as you chose to make the offer of looking out for discoveries, 
I shall expect you to make some. Do you hear ? " he continued, 
in his voice of determination. " What ? Speak low, for fear 
of hearers ? Nonsense ; there's no one to hear. If you want 
money for bribery, of course I can furnish you with it, if you 
undertake to use it legitimately." 

Again a pause. The higher Mr. Edwin Barley raised his 
voice, the lower the other seemed to speak. 

" No, you are wrong ; the greatest enemy to your plans would 
be Harry Chandos ; the rest are women. That there's some- 
thing to be discovered connected with Mm, and at this present 
time, I am absolutely certain of. Discovered it shall be," 
emphatically pronounced Mr. Edwin Barley. " About his wife ? " 
he suddenly asked. 

" All that's wanted is the clue," he recommenced, after 
listening to the answer. " It is to be had, I know. They 
would not live in this dark, retired manner for nothing ; and I 
have my theory about it. What do you say ? — oh, well, yes, if 
you like ; I did not ask you to repeat things about the family 
to me, you know ; you are doing it of your own free will. 
How long have you lived in this neighbourhood ? " 



LIZZY I)ENE. 283 

Strain my ears as I would, I could uot catch more than a 
faint wliisper in reply. 

" Eh ? What ? " briskly resumed Mr. Edwin Barley. " The 
ghost walks again ! Sir Thomas Chaudos ! Give my comi)li- 
ments to it, and ask if it remembers me ! You foolish woman ! " 
he went on, scornfully. " A troubled conscience may cause 
people to ' walk ' in life ; but it never yet brought them back 
after death. Now don't — oh, I thought you were going to insist 
on the ghost. Upon thorns lest you should be missed and 
called for ? Hill looks you all up so sharply ? I'll go then. 
Advice ? I have none to give." 

I heard his stej)S walking leisurely away. Stealing swiftly 
along the bye-paths, I went round to the servants' entrance, 
determined to see whether Lizzy Dene was out of doors or uot. 
A miserable gnat had bitten me, affording an excuse ; but I 
should have made one in case of need. The cook stood by her 
kitchen fire. 

" Oh, cook, would you please give me a little warm water ? 
A gnat has just stung my wrist. Perhaps if I bathe it at once, 
it will not inflame." 

She gave it me immediately, putting the basin on the table 
underneath the window. Harriet ran and brought a little 
sponge. At that moment Mrs. Hill came in. 

" Where's Lizzy Dene ? Is she not here '? " 

" No, she's not here," was the quick retort of the cook, spoken 
with irritation. " She's off again— as she always is. I sent 
her to get the eggs, for the boy never brought them in tliis 
morning, and she has been gone pretty near an hour ! It's a 
shame." 

" It is not Lizzy's work, that you should send her," remarked 
Mrs. Hill ; " but she has no business to stoj) out. Have you 
hurt your hand. Miss Hereford '? " 

I told her what it was, and she left the kitchen again, leaving 
orders for Lizzy Dene to come to her in the linen-room as soon 
as she entered. 

" You need not have told," remonstrated Harriet to the cook, 
in an undertone, on account of my presence. "Mother Hill 
finds enough fault with us without being helped to more." 



284 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" I'm not going to put up with Lizzy, if you are ! " cried 
out the cook, not caring wlietlier I was present or not. " Send 
her but for the least thing, and there she stops. My custard 
ought to have been made, and set to cool by this time. She 
gets talking to the outdoor men ; I know she does. What 
else can she do ? " 

" That woman was here again last night," rejoined Harriet, 
as they stood over the fire. 

" Who is that woman ? — coming after Lizzy Dene, as she 
does ! Why shouldn't Lizzy be ojien about it '? " 

" I asked her who it was, the other day, but she'd give me 
no answer," replied Harriet. " You know that weeping ash, 
yonder to the right. Well, there they stood with their heads 
together, last night, Lizzy Dene and the woman, Lizzy's very 
much altered of late. I can't make her out. At the time of 
the accident to Mr. (Jhandos, she was like one out of her mind. 
I asked her if she had frightened the horse. There was always 
something odd about her." 

" There'll be something odder about her yet, if she don't 
speedily bring them eggs," retorted the cook. " I won't put up 
with this." 

I took my hand out of the water, wrapped a handkerchief 
loosely round it, and went out at the back-door, taking my way 
leisurely round. Truth to say, I was w\itching for Lizzy Dene. 

And 1 saw her. She came darting down one of the paths, 
and caught up a basket of eggs that stood behind a tree ; her 
face was red and flushed, as if she had been walking or talking 
herself into a heat. 

" Lizzy," I said, confronting her, " they are waiting for the 
eggs. Where have you been ? " 

" Don't stop me, miss, please ; cook's in a rage as it is, I 
know," was all the answer I received ; and the woman bore on 
to the kitchen. 



( 285 ) 
CHAPTER XXI. 

IN THE riKE WALK. 

Really mine was just now a strange life. A young girl — 
young in experience as well as in years— living in that house 
witliout any comi)anion except Mr. C'handos. More unrestrained 
conipanionsbij) could scarcely have existed between us had we 
been brother and sister. Oiu- meals were taken together ; ho 
presiding at limclieon and dinner, I at breakfast and tea. The 
oak-jjarlour v.'as our common sitting-room ; the groves and 
glades of Chandos, glov/ing with the tints of autumn, our 
frequent walks. It was very pleasant ; too pleasant ; I say 
nothing about its prudence. 

Later, when I grew more conversant with the ways of the 
world and its exactions, I wondered that Lady Chandos had not 
seen its inexpediency. But that love should supervene on either 
side never crossed her thoughts. Had it been suggested to her, 
she would have rejected the idea as altogether imju'obable. I 
was a school-girl, her son (as she had reason to think) was 
love-proof. In regard to other considerations, Mr. Chandos 
was one of those men with whom a young girl would bo 
perfectly safe ; and she knew it. 

Three or four days passed on. Mr. Chandos had recovered 
from his lameness, and went to church with us on Sunday. 
Our order of going was, as usual, this : he walked by the side 
of Mrs. Chandos, almost in silence : I and Mrs. Peuu walked 
behind. In a pew at right angles with ours sat Mr. Edwin 
Barley alone ; and his dark stern eyes seemed to be fixed on 
me from the beginning of the service to the end. 

Well from his lameness ; but an j thing but ^Mill as to his 
health, if looks might be relied upon. He seemed to grow more 
shadowy day by day. "What his illness was I could not think 
and might not ask : it certainly seemed of the mind more than 
of the body. A conviction grew gradually upon me that some 
curious mystery, apart from the slecp-walJving, did attach to 
^r. Chandos ; and the words I overheard spoken by Edwin 



286 ANNE HEEEFOKD. 

Barley strengtliened the impression : " That there is something 
to be discovered connected with him, and at this present time, 
I am absolutely certain of." What did he allude to ? 

Surely it was nothing in the form of disgrace ! As he sat 
there before me, with his calm pale face and its sweet ex- 
pression, it was against the dictates of common sense to suppose 
that evil or wicked antecedents attached to him. No ; I would 
not believe it, let Madam Penn say what she chose. 

It was a lovely autumn morning to begin the week with. 
The fire burnt briskly in the grate, but the window, near which 
we sat, was open. Mr. Chaudos seemed low and depressed. 
His moods were changeable. Sometimes he would be lively, 
laughing, quite gay ; as if he put away the inward trouble for 
a time. During breakfast, which he ate this morning almost 
in silence, he took a letter from his pocket and glanced at its 
contents, heaving an involuntary sigh. I recognized it as one 
that had been delivered the previous morning. The name 
" Henry Amos " on the corner of the envelope proved the writer. 
I wondered then — I wonder still — why people put their uanies 
outside the letters they send, as some do. 

" Does he write instructions to you still, Mr. Chandos ? " 

" Who ? Dr. Amos ? Well, yes ; in a measure." 

" I hope he thinks you are getting better ? " 

" I tell him that I am. You have forgotten the sugar. A 
small lump, please. Thank you." 

It was ever so. If I did summon uj) courage to ask about 
his health he only turned it off. His tea did not want further 
sweetening more than mine did. 

We went out that day for a drive in the large open carriage ; 
Mrs. Chandos, Mrs. Penn, and I, It was the first time we had 
gone together. Mr, Chandos was away ; attending some county 
meeting. It was nearly five when we returned home. Later, 
when I had my hair down and was dressing for dinner, Mrs. 
Penn came in. 

" Oh, this dreary life at Chandos ! " she exclaimed, sinking 
into a chair, without ceremony or apology for entering. " I 
am not sure that I can continue to put u^ with it," 

*' Dreary, do you find it ? " • 



IN THE PINE WALK. 287 

"It is clrcai-y. It is not pleasant or satisfactory. Mrs. 
Chandos grows colder and more capricious ; and you are not 
half the companion you might be. It was on the tip of my 
tongue just now to give her warning. If I do give it, I shall be 
off the next day. I never found a place dull in all my life 
before." 

" Something has vexed you, perhaps, Mrs. Penn ? " 

" If it has, it's only a slight vexation. I hastened to write 
this as soon as we came in " — turning her left hand, in which 
lay a sealed letter — " and I find the letters are gone. I thought 
the man called for them at half-past five." 

" No ; at five." 

" So Hickens has just informed me. What few letters I have 
had to write since I came have been done in the morning. It 
can't be helped ; it must wait until to-morrow." 

She put the letter into her bag, shutting it up with a sharp 
click that spoke of vexation ; a small morocco bag with a steel 
clasp and chain ; took her keys from her pocket and locked it. 

"What a pretty thing that is ! " 

" This reticule ? Yes, it is pretty : and very convenient. 
Have you one ? " 

" Not like that. Mine is an ugly one, made out of a piece of 
carpet ; I bought it ever so long ago at the fair at NuUe." 

" Shall you ever go back to Nulle ? " 

" I should be there at this jH-esent time, but for a fever that 
kas broken out at Miss Barlicu's. It is passing away, though ; 
I heard from Miss Annette on Saturday." 

" Fever, or no fever, I should say it would be a happy change 
for you from this dull place." 

Dull ! It was my Elysium. I felt guilty in my self-con- 
sciousness, and the bright colour stole over my face and neck. 

" Allow me to fasten your dress for you." 

I thanked her, but laughingly said that I was accustomed to 
dress myself. She laughed too ; observed that school-girls 
generally could help themselves, having no choice upon the 
point, and turned to look from the window. 

She stood there with her back to me until I was ready to go 
down, sometimes turning her head to speak. We left the room 



288 ANNE HEREFORD, 

together, and she seemed to have recovered her good temper. 
I had reached the foot of tlie stairs when I haj^pened to look up 
the well of the staircase. There was the face of Mrs. Penn, 
regarding me with a strange intensity. What did she see 
in me ? 

Is this to be a full confession ? When my solitary dinner 
was brought in, and Hickens said his master dined at Warsall, 
I f jlt half sick with disapj)ointment. What was I coming to ? 
Something not good, I feared, if I could feel like that ; and I 
sat down after dinner to take myself to task. 

Why did I lovo him ? That I could not help now ; but I 
could help encouraging it. And yet — could I help it, so long 
as I stayed at Chandos ? I fin-esaw how it would be : a short 
period of time — it could not be a long one — and Madame de 
Mellissie would 1)e there and carry me away with her, and end 
it. I should find another situation, and never see or hear of 
Cliandos again, or of him. Better go away at once than wait 
until my heart broke ! better go to the fever, as Mrs. Penn had 
said ! 

" Why ! What's the matter ? " 

He had come up to the open window, riding-whip in hand, 
having alighted at the gates, and left his horse to the groom. 
There was no possibility of concealment, and my eyes were red 
with crying. 

" I felt a little dull, sir." 

" Dull ! Ah, yes ; of course you do," he continued, as he 
came into the room, and stood with me at the window. " I wish 
I could be more with you, but duties of vai-ious kinds call me 
elsewhere." 

The very thing I had been thinking ought not to be ! My 
tears were dried, but I felt ashamed of my burning face. 

" Would you please to let me have that money, Mr. 
Chandos V " 

" What money ? " 

" Some that I asked you for. Enough to take me to Nulle." 

" You shall have as much money as you please, and welcome. 
But not to take you to Nulle." 

*' Oh, sir ! I must go." 



IN THE riNE WALK. 289 

He paused, lookiug at nie. " Will you tell me tchj yon want 
to go there, knowing that it might be dangerous ? " 

" I have not anywhere else to go to. I don't sujiijoko the 
fever would attack me. In all French schools there is, you 
know, an infirmary." 

" Then your motive is to quit Chandos. Why ? " 

I did not si)eak. 

" Is it because you find it dull '? Are you so unhapjiy in it V '' 

" It is not dull to me ; only at moments. But I ought to 
leave it, because — because the longer I stay, the worse the 
going away will be." 

But that I was confused and miserable, I should not have 
said anything so near the truth. The words slipped from me. 
There was no reply, and I looked up to find his eyes fixed 
earnestly upon mine. 

" Only think, sir, for yoiirself," I stannnered. " I am only a 
governess, accustomed to be at work from morning until night. 
After this life of ease and idleness, how shall I be able to 
reconcile myself to labour again '? " 

" It seems to me that you ought to welcome this interval as a 
rest. You know best about that, of course. But, whether or 
not, there is no help for it. Do you think my mother would 
suffer you to go to the fever ? " 

" I don't know," I answered. 

" Yes, I think you do know. I should not." 

" You are too kind to me, Mr. Chandos." 

" Am I ? Will you repay it by giving me some tea ? I am 
going up to my mother, and shall expect it ready when I come 
down. Put out, and cool, mind, ready to drink. I am as 
thirsty as a fish." 

I ran to the bell ; he meant to forestall me, and his hand fell 
on mine as it touched the handle. He kept his there while he 
spoke. 

" Can you not be happy at Chandos a little longer ? " 

" Oh, sir, yes. But it will only make the leaving worse 
when it comes." 

" Well, that lies in the future." 

Yes, it did lie in it. And in the throbbing bliss his presence 

Anne HercfotiJ. Ip 



200 ANNE HEREFORD. 

brouglit, I was content to let it lie. Parting could not bo 
worse in the future than it would be now. 

The tea had time to grow cold, instead of cool, for he stayed 
a long time in the west wing. He seemed very tired ; did not 
talk much, and sftid good-night early. 

It must have been getting on for eleven o'clock the next 
morning. Mr. Chandos had been asking me to sew a button 
on his glove. " They are always coming off," he cried, as he 
watched my fingers. " My belief is, they are just pitched on to 
the gloves, and left there. I have heard Harriet say the same ; 
she sews them on generally." 

" Why did you not give her this one ? " I had been laughing, 
and was in high spirits ; and until the words were out, it did 
not strike me that it was not quite the right thing for me to 
say, even in joke. 

" Because I like you to do it." 

" There it is, sir. Are there any more ? " 

If there were, he had no time to give them to me. A sharp 
decisive knock at the room door, and Mrs. Penn came in, look- 
ing pale and angry. 

She has been coming to a rujiture ^dth Mrs. Chandos, 
thought I. But I was wrong. 

It appeared, by what she began to say, that she had left, un- 
intentionally, the small bag, or reticule as she called it, in my 
room the previous evening, and had not thought of it until just 
now. Upon sending one of the maids for it, she foimd it had 
been opened. 

" Mrs. Penn ! " I exclaimed. 

" It's quite true," she rejoined, almost vehemently, as she 
held out the bag. " Do you remember seeing me put the letter 
in the bag. Miss Hereford ? The letter I was too late to 
post ? " 

" Yes ; I saw you put it in and lock the bag." 

" Just so. Well, while I talked with you afterwards, I pre- 
sume I must have let the bag slip on the window-seat ; and 
forgot it. This morning, not long ago, I missed it, looked 
everywhere, and it was only by tracing back to when I last 
remembered to have had it, that I thought of your room, and 



IN THE PINE WALK. 291 

that I might iuadvertcntly have left it there. I sent Emma to 
look; and when she brought me the bag, I found it had been 
opened." 

" Opened ! " I repeated. 

" Oj)ened," she angrily affirmed. And then, perhaps our 
very calmness recalling her to herself, she went on in quieter 
tones. 

" I am sure you will make allowance for me if I appear a 
little excited. I do not wish to throw suspicion ujion any one : 
but I cannot deny that I am both annoyed and angry. You 
would be so yourself, Mr. Chandos, if such a thing happened to 
you," she added, suddenly turning to him. 

" Take a seat, and ex2)lain to me what it is that has hap- 
pened," replied Mr. Chandos, handing her a chair. " I scarcely 
understand." 

" Thank you, no," she said, declining the seat. " I cannot 
stay to sit do^^^l, I must return to Mrs. Chandos : it was she 
who recommended me to come and speak to Miss Hereford. 
Upon Emma's bringing me the reticule I unlocked it, suspect- 
ing nothing, and " 

" I thought you said it had been opened, Mrs. Penn ? " 

" It had been opened. You shall hear. The first thing I saw 
was my letter, and the seal looked cracked across. I thought 
perhaps the bag had fallen to the ground ; but upon my looking 
at it more attentively I saw it had been opened. See." 

She put the envelope into Mr. Chandos's hand for examina- 
tion. It had been opened with a penknife, cut underneath, and 
afterwards fastened down with gum. Of this there was no 
doubt ; part of the letter had also been cut. 

" This is very extraordinary," said Mr. Chandos, as he turned 
the envelope about. It was addressed to London, to a medical 
man. 

"Yes, it is extraordinary, sir," said Mrs. Penn, with some 
slight temper, which I am sure he considered excusable. I did 
so. " The note was a private note to the gentleman who has 
attended me for some years ; I didn't write it for the perusal of 
the world. But that is not the chief question. There must be 
false keys in the house." 



^92 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Did you leave your key in the bag, Mrs, Penn ? " 

"No, sir. I hadfiiy keys in my pocket. The lock has not 
been injured, therefore it can only have been opened with a 
false key." 

Kemcmbering my own boxes and Mr. Chandos's desk, I felt 
no doubt that false keys must be at hand. Mrs. Penn said she 
had not yet spoken to the servants, and Mr. Chaudos nodded 
ajiproval : he would wish to deal with it himself. For my part 
I had not seen the bag in my room, except in her possession, 
and did not notice whether she had carried it away or left it. 

She quitted the parlour, taking the bag and note with her. 
Mr. Chandos called Hickens and desired that Emma should be 
sent to him. The girl arrived in some wonder. But she could 
tell nothing ; except that she found the bag lying on the floor 
by the window-seat, and carried it at once to Mrs. Penn. 
Harriet was next questioned. She had seen the bag lying in 
the window-seat the previous evening, she said, when she put 
the room to rights after Miss Hereford went down to dinner, 
and left it there, drawing the curtains before it. 

" Did you touch it ? " asked Mr. Chandos. 

" Yes, sir. I took it up in my hand, and thought what a 
pretty thing it was : 1 had never seen it before." 

" Did you open it ? " 

" Open it ? No, sir, that I did not. I think it was locked, 
for I saw there was a key-hole : at any rate, it was closely shut. 
1 did not keej) it in my hands a moment, but j)ut it down where 
I found it, and drew the curtains." 

" Who else went into Miss Hereford's room last evening ? " 

" Why, sir, how can 1 tell ? " returned Harriet, after a pause 
of surprise. " What I have to do in the room does not take 
five minutes, and I am not near it afterwards. Twenty folk 
might go in and out without my knowing it." 

That both the girls were innocent there could be no question. 
Then who was guilty ? In undrawing the curtains that morn- 
ing I must have pulled the bag off the window-seat, which 
caused mo not to see it. Hill went into a temper when she 
heard of the affair. 

^' J don't believe tljere's one of the maids woidd do such a 



IN THE PINE WALK. '293 

tiling, Mr. Harry. What slioukl tbey want witli other folk's 
letters ? And where would they get giinx from to stick them 
down ? " 

" There's some gum on my mantelpiece, Hill : I use it with 
my drawings," I said to her. 

" Ah, well, gum or no gum, they wouldn't cut oi)en letters," 
was Hill's reply, given obstinately. 

" There must be false keys in the house, Mr. Chaudos," I 
began, as Hill went out. 

" There's something worse than that — a spy," was his answer. 
" Though the one implies the other." 

And I thought I could have put my hand ui)on her — Lizzy 
Dene. But it was only a doubt. I was not certain. And, 
being only a doubt, I did not consider that I ought to speak. 

Some days elapsed with nothing special to record, and then 
some money was missed. Mr. Chandos and I were together as 
usual in the oak-parlour. Opening his desk, he exclaimed 
rather sharply, and I looked up from my work. 

" So ! they have walked into the trap, have they ! " he cried, 
searching it here and there. " I thought so." 

" What is it, Mr. Chandos ? " I asked, and he presently turned 
to me, quitting the table. 

" These matters have been puzzling me. Miss Hereford. Is 
it a petty thief that we have in the house, one to crib lace and 
such trifles ; or is it a spy ? I have thought it may be both : 
such a thing is not beyond the bounds of possibility. A person 
who took Mrs. Penn's lace would not be likely to take my 
memorandum-book : for that must have been done to pry into 
my private affairs, or those of the Chandos family : and a spy, 
aiming at higher game, would keep clear of petty thefts. The 
taking Mrs. Penn's letter, I mean breaking its seal, I do not 
understand : but, before that was done, I marked some money 
and put it into my desk ; two sovereigns and two half-crowns. 
They are gone." 

" You locked the desk afterwards ? " 

" Yes. Now I shall act decisively. Mrs. Penn has thought 
me very quiet over her loss, I dare say, but I have not seen my 
way at all clear. I do not, truth to say, see it now." 



294 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" In what way, sir ? " 

" I canuot reconcile the one loss with the other. Unless we 
have two false inmates amongst us. I begin to think it is so. 
Say nothing at all to any one, Miss Hereford." 

He wrote a hasty note, directed it, and sealed it with the 
C'handos coat-of-arms ; then ordered his own groom, James, 
into his presence. 

" Saddle one of the horses for yourself, James. When you 
are ready, come round with him, and I will give you directions." 

The man was soon equipped. He appeared leading the 
horse. Mr. Chandos went out, and I stood at the open window. 

" Are you quite ready ? " 

"Quite, sir." 

" Mount then." 

The servant did as he was bid, and Mr. Chandos continued, 
putting the note he had written into his hands. 

" Go straight to Warsall, to the police-station, and deliver 
this. Do not loiter." 

James touched his hat and cantered off. 

Ever since I had seen the police at Mr, Edwin Barley's, at 
the time of the death of Philip King, I had felt an invincible 
dread of them ; they were always associated in my mind with 
darkness and terror. The French gendarmes had not tended 
to reassure me ; with their uniform, their cocked hats, their 
conspicuous swords, and their fiery horses ; but the police 
there were quite another sort of people, far more harmless than 
ours. The worst I saw of them was the never-ending warfare 
they kept up wdth the servant-maids for being late in washing 
before the doors in a morning. The cook at Miss Barlieu's, 
Marie, called them old women, invariably setting them at 
defiance : but one day they cited her before the tribunal, and 
she had to pay a fine of five francs. 

The police arrived in the afternoon ; two, in plain clothes ; 
and Mr. Chandos was closeted with them alone. Then wo 
heard — at least, I heard— that the servants' pockets were to be 
examined, and their boxes searched. I was standing in the hall, 
looking wistful enough, no doubt, when Mr. Chandos and his 
two visitors came forth from the drawing-room. 



IN THE PINE WALK, 295 

" You appear alarmed," ho paused to say, smiling. " Ilavo 
no fear." 

Tlicy were disappearing down the i)assage that led to the 
kitchens and thence to the servants' rooms above, when Mrs. 
Penn came in with her bonnet on. She gazed after the strangers, 

" Those look just like police ! " she whisi)ered. " What have 
they come for ? " 

" About these losses, I believe. Mr. Chandos has again lost 
something from his desk." 

" What ! besides the first loss the other day ? " 

" Yes. He feels very much annoyed : and it is enough to 
make him feel so." 

" I would forgive a little pilfering — that is, I would not be 
too harsh upon the tliief," she remarked. " Pretty lace and 
such vanities do bear their attractions. But when it comes to 
violating letters and private papers, that is essentially another 
affair. What are the police going to do in it? Do you 
know?" 

" I believe the servants' boxes and pockets are about to be 
examined." 

" I should think, then, my lace, at any rate, will come to 
light," she laughed, as she trij)j)ed up the stairs. 

The process of searching seemed to be a pretty long one. 
Mr. Chandos "\Tas in the oak-i^arlour, when one of the officers, 
who seemed to be superior to the other, came in. 

" Well, sir," said he, as he took the seat to which Mr. 
Chandos invited him, " there's no trace of any stolen property 
about the maids or their boxes. One or two of them had some 
love-letters : and seemed much more afraid of my reading them 
than of finding lace or money," he added, with a broad smile. 
" I just glanced over the epistles, enough to convince myself 
that there was nothing wrong in them : but there is no game 
more formidable to be found." 

Mr. Chandos made no^-eply. I thought he looked puzzled. 

" We have hitherto placed great trust in our servants," he 
observed, presently. " But the disappearance of these things 
is unaccountable." 

" There does seem some mystery about it," returned the 



29(3 ANNE HEREFORD. 

policeman. " You say, sir, that you are sure of the Louse- 
keeper." 

" As sure as I am of myself." 

"Shall we search the rooms in the front, above here, sir? 
Thieves have a trick of hiding things, you know." 

" No," decisively rejilied Mr. Chandos. " My mother might 
hear you ; I could not risk annoying her in her invalid state. 
Besides, the rooms have been fully searched by the housekeeper." 

" Would you like a watch placed in the house, sir, unknown 
to the servants ? " 

" No, no," said Mr. Chandos. " It " 

The appearance of Mrs. Penn caused the pause. She came 
in, after knocking quietly at the door. Mr. Chandos rose ; the 
officer rose. 

" I beg your pardon for my interruption, Mr. Chandos. 
Will it not be better that the police " — slightly bowing to the 
one present — " should come up now '? Mrs. Chandos has gone 
into my lady's rooms : if they can come uj) at once, she will be 
sjjared the sight." 

" Come up for what ? " asked Mr. Chandos. 

" 1 understood that our boxes were to be examined." 

She evidently meant her own and mine. Mr. Chandos 
laughed pleasantly. 

"Your boxes'? Certainly not, Mrs. Penn. Why, you are 
the chief sufferer ! It would be a new thing to search the very 
places from which the articles have been taken." 

But Mrs. Penn pressed it. It was not pleasant, although 
she had lost a bit of lace : and she thought the boxes should all 
be treated alike, excepting those belonging to the Chandos 
family : it would be more satisfactory to our minds. Mr. 
Chandos relocated his No, courteously, but somewhat impera- 
tively, and left the room with the officer. 

" Did you offer your boxes for their inspection '? " she asked 
of me. 

" Of course not. They know quite well I should not bo 
likely to take the things." 

" I may say the same of myself. But I cannot help remember- 
ing that you and I are the only strangers in the place ; and it 



IN THE PINE WALK. 297 

makes me, for my i)art, feel uncomfortable. Such a tLiiig 
never before happened in any house where I have been." 

" At any rate, Mrs. Penn, yon must be exemjit from susiiicion." 

"It is not altogether that. I look at it in this light. These 
servants are searched : they are proved innocent ; at least 
nothing is found upon them to imply guilt. They may turn 
round and say — why don't you search these two strangers ? — 
and suggest injustice. However — of course Mr. Chandos must 
do as he pleases : he seems sole master here." 

" Do not fenr that he will suspect either you or me, Mrs. 
Penn. And Lady Chandos, as I gather, knows nothing of the 
matter," 

The search and commotion had the effect of delaying dinner. 
It was late when the men dejiarted, and I grew tired of being 
alone in the oak-parlour. Mr. Chandos had gone out some- 
where. Throwing a shawl over my shoulders, for the evenings 
were not so warm as they had been, I went out and walked 
down the avenue. 

Suddenly, as I paced it, it occurred to me that Mr. Chandos 
might be coming home. Would it look as though I had gone 
to meet him ! Love was making me jealously reticent, and I 
plunged thoughtlessly into the shady walks opposite, trusting 
to good luck to take me back to the house. Good luck proved 
a traitor. It lost my way for me : and when I found it again 
I was at the far end of the Pine Walk. 

To my dismay. The superstitions attaching to tliis gloomy 
walk flashed into my mind. Outside, it had been a grey 
twilight ; here it was nearly as dark as night : in fact, night 
had set in. There was nothing for it but to run straight 
through : to turn back would bo unwise now : I should in- 
evitably lose myself again. I was about half-way up the walk, 
flying like the wind, when in turning a corner I almost ran 
against Mr. Chandos, who was coming quickly down it. 

But, in the first moment I did not recognize liim ; it was too 
dark. Fear came over me, my heart beat wildly ; and I almost 
screamed. 

" I beg your pardon, sir," I said. " I did not know you quite 
at first." 



298 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" You liere ! " he exclaimed in astomsbiaent, and (as it sounded 
to me) alarm. " Why did you come into this dreary portion of 
the grounds, and at this hour? I have already warned you 
not to do it." 

I told him quite humbly how it was : that I had inadvertently 
got into it, after losing my way. Humbly, because he seemed 
to be angry at my disobedience. 

" I had better take you out of it," he said, drawing my arm 
within his, without the ceremony of asking leave. " When 
dusk approaches, you must confine your rambles to the open 
walk, Miss Hereford." 

" Indeed, yes. This has been a lesson to me. But it seemed 
quite light outside." 

He went on without another word, walking as though he 
were walking for a wager, so swift was his pace. The dark 
boughs meeting overhead, the late hour, the still atmosphere, 
imparted altogether a sensation of strange dreariness. 

All at once a curious thing occurred. What, I scarcely 
know to this day. I saw nothing ; I heard nothing ; but Mr. 
Chandos apparently did, for he stopped suddenly, and his face 
became livid with terror. At this ^wrtion of the walk there 
was no outlet on either side ; the trees and the low shrubs 
around them were too thickly planted. His eyes and ears 
alike strained — not that he could see far, for the walk wound 
in and out — Mr. Chandos stood ; then he suddenly drew me 
against those said trees, placed himself before me, and bent my 
face down upon his breast, so that I could see nothing, 

" You will be safe thus ; I will take care of you," he 
whispered, the words trembling as they left his lips " Be 
still, fur the love of Heaven." 

So entirely was I taken by surprise, so great was my alarm, 
that " still " I kept, unresistingly ; there as he placed and held 
me. I heard measured footsteps advance, pass us — they must 
have touched him — and go on their way. Mr. Chandos's heart 
was beating more violently than is common to man, and as the 
stops went by, he clasped me with an almost painful pressure ; 
BO that to look wp, had I been so inclined, was impossible. 
When the sound of the footsteps had died away, he raised his 



IN THE PINE WALK. 299 

head, went on a few yards up the walk, and drew nie into one 
of the nai'row intersecting paths. Then lie released me. 

" Anne, I could not help it. You must forgive me." 

The name, Anne — the first time he had called me hy it- 
sent a whole rush of joy through my veins. What with that, 
wliat with emotion, what with the fright, I burst into tears. 

" You are angry with me ! " 

" Oh no, not angry. Thank you for sheltering me : I am 
sure you must have had good cause. I am only frightened." 

" Indeed I had cause," he replied, in passionate tones. " But 
you are safe now. I >vish— I wish I could shelter and protect 
you through life." 

He must have felt my heart beating at the words ; swifter, 
far, tlian his had done just now. 

" But what was the danger ? " I took courage to ask. 

" A danger that you may not inquire into. You have escaped 
it ; let that suffice. But you must never encounter the risk 
again ; do you hear, Anne ? " 

" Only tell me how I am to avoid it." 

" By keeping away from these gloomy walks at nightfall. I 
feel as if I could never be thankful enough for liaving come up 
Avhen I did." 

He had turned into the Pine Walk again, my arm within his 
now, and v/as striding uj) it. At the end he released me. 

" Shall you be afraid to run across the lawn alone ? " 

" Oh no ; the hall-lamp is lighted." 

" To be sure. One moment yet. I want a promise frem you." 

He held me before him, looking straight into my eyes, and 
took my hand between both of his, not in afiection, I saw that 
well enough, but in painful anxiety. 

" A promise not to mention what has occurred to any one." 

" Trust me. I will not. Trust me, Mr. Chandos." 

"Yes, I do trust you. Thank you, my dear little friend." 

But all the time his face had remained cold and white. He 
turned back into the walk again, and I ran swiftly across in the 
stream of light thrown on the grass by the hall-lamji, and went 
indoors ; one bewildering query haunting me — did ghosts emit 
sounds as of footsteps when they walked ? 



300 ANNE ItEREFORD. 

My dinner was getting cold on the table. Hickens stared aS 
I went in, wondering, doubtless, where I had been. Mr. 
Chandos's place remained unoccupied ; and the things were taken 
away. I did marvel at his remaining out of doors so long. 
By-and-by, Hill came in to get something from the sideboard ; 
she ran in and out of the rooms at will, without ceremony. To 
speak to her was a sort of relief. 

" Hill, don't you think it is very imprudent of Mr. Chandos 
to be out in the night-air so long, considering that he was ill 
recently ? " 

" I should if he was in it," responded Hill, in the abrupt tone 
she always gave me. " Mr. Chandos is in the west wing with 
my lady." 

It had occurred to my mind many times — and I think I was 
right— that Hill resented the fact of my unfortunate detention 
at Chandos. 

On the following day a new feature was to be added to the 
mysterious illness of Lady Chandos — a doctor at length came 
to see her. He had travelled from a distance, as was under- 
stood ; but whether by train or other conveyance did not 
appear. They called him Dr. Laken. He was a short, thin 
man, getting in years, with dark eyes, and a benevolent, truthful 
countenance. His appearance was unexpected — but it seemed 
more welcome than gold. Mr. Chandos came to him in the 
oak-parlour, shaking hands warmly. 

" Doctor ! how glad I am to see you ! So you have at last 
returned ! " 

" Ay, safe and sound ; and considerably refreshed by my two 
months' change. Where do you think I have been, Mr. Harry ? 
All the way to the other end of Scotland." 

" And you were such a stay-at-home ! " 

" When I was obliged to be so. I'm growing old now, and 
my son has taken to the patients. Well, and who is it that is 
in urgent need of me ? Your flourishing self? " 

" My flourishing self is in no need of medical aid just now," 
replied Mr. Chandos, something constrained in his voice. 
" Will you take anything at once, doctor ? " 

" I'll see my patient first. It is my lady, I suppose ? " 



IN THE PINE WALK. 301 

Mr. Chandos nodded. 

" Ah," said the doctor, following liim from tlie i)arlour. " I 
said, you may remember, that the time might come when you 
would be glad of me at (Jhaudos. No skill in these remote 
parts ; a set of mutfs, all of them ; known to be." 

Mr. Chandos echoed his laugh ; and leading the way to his 
study, shut himself in with the doctor. Afterwards he took 
him up to the west wing. 

Why should Mr. C'handos have denied that he was ill ? — as 
by implication he certainly did — was the question that I kept 
asking myself. Later, when he came to the oak-i)arlour, I 
asked him. 

" One patient is enough in a house," was all his answer. lie 
had come down from the west wing, grave even to sadness. 

" But — to imply that you were well — when you know what 
the other doctor said ! " 

" Hush ! Don't allude to that. It was a painful ej)isode, 
one that I like to be silent upon. The — the danger, as I 
thought it, passed with the day, you know." 

" But are you really better ? " 

" I am well enough, now," he answered, the gloom on his 
face breaking. " At least, I should be if — I mean that I am as 
well as I can expect to be." 

" Oh, Mr. Chandos ! I think you are only saying this to 
satisfy me." 

" Anne — I must call you ' Anne ; ' I did so last night, you 
know, and I cannot go back to the formality of ' Miss Here- 
ford ' " 

"Yes, yes, please call me Anne," I interrupted all too 
earnestly. And he looked down with a sad sweet smile into 
my eyes and my blushing face. 

" Anne, whether I am ill or well, you must not make it of 
moment to you. I wish it might be otherwise," 

I felt ready to strike myself. Had I so betrayed my own 
feelings ? The soft blush of love turned to the glow of shame, 
and I could only look down, in hope of hiding it. 

" My dear little friend ! " he softly whispered, as if to atone 
for the former words ; " in saying I wish it might be otherwise 



302 ANNE HEREFOED. 

—and perhaps I owe it to you to say as miicli — tlie subject 
must close. You and I may be the best friends living, Anne ; 
and that is all I can be to you, or to any one." 

Quitting the parlour rather hastily, in the hall he encountered 
Dr. Laken, who had just come down from the west wing. 
Mr. Chandos said something in low tones ; I presume, by the 
answer, it was an inc[uiry as to what he thought of his patient, 

" Emaciated, and as obstinate as ■" 

Mr. Chandos checked the raised voice ; and the doctor, turn- 
ing into the parloui', caught sight of me. 

" I never was famous for civility, you know, Mr. Harry, but 
I confess I ought not to abuse Lady Chandos before this young 
lady. I was going to say ' obstinate as a mule.' Your mother 
is obstinate." 

"I know it," replied Mr. Chandos, lifting his eyes to the 
doctor's. " That is one of the worst features of tlie case. They 
are all bad enough." 

"And it can't be remedied. Unless— but there might be 
danger attending that. Besides — well, well, we must do the 
best we can ; it would not answer to try experiments on Lady 
Chandos." 

Up to the word " besides," Dr. Laken seemed to forget that I 
was in the room ; with the recollection he made the break. 
Mr. Chandos rang for refreshments to be served, and I gathered 
uj) my work to leave them alone. 

" I wish you could remain for the night. Dr. Laken." 

" So do I. But it's of no use wishing it, Mr. Harry. I'll 
see what I can do towards spending a cou2)le of days here next 
week." 

They were the last words I heard. In half-an-hour the pony- 
carriage was ordered round, and the doctor went away, Mr. 
Chandos driving. 



( 303 ) 
CHAPTER XXII. 

A NIGHT ALARM. 

It was the loveliest autumn I liacl ever remembered. Clear, 
soft, balmy ; the foliage glowing with its ruddy tints, the sky 
blue and beautiful. 

There would be a fire in the grate of the oah-i^arlour, and 
the window thrown open to the lawn and tlie scent of the sweet 
flowers. One afternoon I sat there, a bit of work in my hand, 
the sprays of jessamine almost touching me, and the far-off Pine 
Walk looking almost as bright as though no ghost had the 
rejiutation of haunting it. Mr. Chandos sat at the table writing. 
Out of doors or in, we were very much together, and my heart 
was at rest. I fear I had taken to think that the heaven of 
hereafter could not be more blissful than this that I seemed to 
be living in now. 

His foot was weak again. Not sufficient to disable him from 
getting about ; only to deter him from walking more than was 
absolutely necessary. It was all his own fault ; as Mr. Dicken- 
son, the surgeon, told him ; he had 2)ersisted in using the ankle 
too much before it was quite strong again. 

Lady Chandos kept her rooms still ; report said her bed ; 
and the impression in the house was that she was in danger. 
The discovery of the petty pilferer, or pilferers, appeared to be 
as far off as ever : but one or two strange things connected with 
the subject were about to occur, 

" Will you put these on the hall-table for me, Anne ? " 

I turned to take the letters from him. When he did not allow 
me to save his foot in these little things, it made me cross, and 
I told him so. One of the letters was addressed to his sister. 

"You have been writing to Madame de Mellissie, Mr. 
Chandos ! " 

"Yes. We heard from her this morning. She expects to 
be here in a day or two.' Stay! I think I will show my 
mother what I have said. You shall place only the other one 
on the table." 



304 ANNE HEKEFORD. 

The news fell on my heart like an ice-shaft. Chanclos had 
become all too dear to me. 

The other letter was to Mr. Haines ; I remembered the name 
as that of an agent who had taken the house near the lodge- 
gates for Mr. Edwin Barley. It was sealed with the Chandos 
coat-of-arms in black wax. I had never seen Mr. Chandos use 
red. Lizzy Dene was passing through the hall as I laid the 
letter down. I observed that she looked at me ; seemed to 
look at what I was doing ; and Mrs. Penn and Hill were speak- 
ing on the stairs, almost beyond view ; whether they saw me or 
not, I could not say. 

" Thank you," said Mr. Chandos, when I went in again. 
" What should I do without you to fetch and carry ? I want 
that book now." 

It lay on the side-table ; a dreadfully dry scientific work. 
He locked his desk and took the book from me. 

" You must put down your slavery to my stupid foot. When 
you become disabled, Anne, I'll do as much for you." 

" You know the fault is yours, Mr. Chandos. Had you only 
been a little patient when the foot was recovering, it Avould 
have been strong before now. As to the slavery " 

" Well '? What as to the slavery ? Are you going to 
strike ? " 

I had been about to say that I Uhed the slavery, but stopped 
in time. The colour of embarrassment was coming into my 
cheek, and I turned it off with a light laugh and light words. 

" I won't strike just yet. Not until Madame de Mellissie 
comes." 

" Then suppose you lend me your shoulder ? " 

He could have walked quite well without it, as he knew and 
I knew ; I dare say if put to it he might have walked to the 
railway-station. But ah ! the bliss of feeling his hand on me ! 
if it were only half as great to him he had kept his ankle weak 
for ever ! 

" As to Emily, with her proverbial uncertainty, she is just 
as likely to be here in two months as in two days, Anne." 

I took up my work again ; a pretty bag I was embroidering 
in grey and black silk for Lady Chandos. He sat pn the other 



A NIGHT ALARM. 305 

feide the window, reading his book and talking to me between 
whiles. All things seemed full of rest and peace and love ; a 
very paradise. 

Soon — I dare say it was an hour, but time passed so swiftly 
■ — we heard footsteps come along the broad walk to the portico. 
I looked out to see whose they were. 

" It is Mr. Dexter," I said to Mr. Chandos. 

" Dexter ! The very man I wanted to see. You need not go 
away," he added, as I began to gather up my work ; " we are 
not about to talk treason. Don't you know, Anne, that I like 
to have you with me whilst I may." 

He must have been thinking of the approaching separation 
that the advent of Emily would bring about. But I wanted 
some more silk, and went to fetch it, remaining in my room 
some minutes. When I got back they were both seated at the 
table, some papers before them. I turned to the window, and 
went on with my work. 

The conversation appeared to be of little moment ; of none 
to me. It was of leases, rents, repairs, and other matters con- 
nected with the estate. Presently Mr. Dexter mentioned that 
he had received a letter from Haines. 

" Have you ? " said Mr. Chandos. " 1 wrote to him this 
afternoon. What does he say ? " 

Mr. Dexter took a letter from his pocket-book, and put it 
into his master's hand, who ran his eyes over it. 

" My letter will be useless, then, and I must write another," 
he observed when he had finished. " I'll get it, and show you 
what I said. It will save explanation." 

" Let me get it for you, Mr. Chandos," I interposed, anxious 
to save him. And without waiting for permission I left the 
room. But the letter was not on the table. 

" It is not there, Mr. Chandos ; it is gone." 

" It cannot be gone," he said, taking out his watch. " It is 
only four o'clock. Emily's letter is not there yet." 

Hickens was called. Hickens, in a marvel of consternation 
— at being asked what he had done with the letter — protested 
he had not seen it ; he had not been in the hall that afternoon. 

We all went out ; it seemed so strange a thing ; and I 

Anne Hereford. 20 



30G ANNE HEREFOED. 

showed Mr, Chandos wliere I had placed the letter. It had 
not slipped down ; it could not be seen anjwhere. Mr. Chandos 
looked at me : he was evidently thinking that the spy was 
again at work. 

" Was any one in the hall when you put the letter here, Miss 
Hereford ? " 

"Lizzy Dene was passing through it. And Mrs. Penn and 
Hill were standing on the stairs." 

" They would not touch it," said Mr. Chandos, just as Lizzy 
Dene, hearing the commotion, looked from the door of the 
large dining-room. It was her place to keep the room in 
order, and she seemed to choose odd times to do it in. Mr. 
Chandos questioned her, but she said she had not touched the 
letter ; had not in fact noticed it. 

At this juncture Mrs. Chandos came down the stairs, dressed 
for going out, attended by Mrs. Penn. She inquired of Mr. 
Chandos what the matter was. 

" A letter has mysteriously disappeared from the hall, Ethel," 
he re2)lied. 

" A letter disappeared ! how strange ! " she returned, in the 
rather vacant manner that at times characterized her. " Was 
it of consequence ? " 

" In itself, no. But these curious losses arc always of con- 
sequence in another sense of the word. I beg your pardon, 
Mrs. Penn : did you speak ? " 

For Mrs. Penn, who first stood back in her surprise, had 
advanced behind him, and was saying something in low tones. 

" Mr. Chandos ! rely upon it, the same hand that ojiened my 
letter has taken this one. You ought not to leave a stone 
unturned to discover the culprit. I speak in the interest of all." 

Mr. Chandos gravely nodded assent. He seemed to be in a 
hopeless puzzle. I fully susj)ected Lizzy Dene ; and I think 
she saw something of this in my face. 

" What should I do with a letter that was not mine ? " she 
cried, resentfully, addressing no one in particular. " If Mr. 
Chandos offered me a dozen of his letters to read, I'd rather be 
spared the trouble ; 1 am no great scholar. And what good 
v/ould they do me ? " 



A NIGirt: ALARM. 307 

Tlic argument seemed conclusive ; at least to Mr. CliaucTos. 
I suspected the girl more and more. 

" Well, Harry, I must leave you to your investigation, if I 
am to have a walk this afternoon," concluded Mrs. Chandos. 

She wont out and turned down the broad walk. Lizzy 
resumed her work in the dining-room, I and Mr. Dexter went 
back to the oak-parlour and stood at the window : and then I 
became aware that Mrs. Penn had lingered in the portico, 
talking with Mr, Chandos. 

" Until recently I believed we had the most trustworthy set 
of servants that it is i)0ssible for any family to possess," he 
was saying. " What can there be in my letters that should 
interest them ? " 

" Nay," said Mrs. Penn, " I think it is the greater wonder 
what there should be in mine. I am a stranger to your 
servants : my afi'airs cannot be supposed to concern any one of 
them." 

'• It is my habit to leave letters on the table every day. 
They have never been touched or tampered with, so far as I 
know, until this afternoon." 

" You cannot be sure of that. But what shall you do in the 
matter now ? " 

" I don't know what to do ; it is tlie sort of thing that causes 
me to feel at a nonplus. Were I to have an officer in the 
house to watch, as you suggest, it might prove useless." 

" Have you a suspicion of any one in particular ? " she asked 
abruptly. And by this time Mr. Dexter had grown interested 
in the conversation, and was listening as attentively as I. 

" Not the slightest. Neither can you have, I suppose." 

Mrs. Penn was silent. 

" Have you ? " repeated he, thinking her manner peculiar. 

" I would rather not answer the question, Mr. Chandos ; 
because it would inevitably be followed by another." 

" Which is equivalent to admitting that your suspicions are 
directed to some one in particular," he returned, with awakened 
interest. " Why should you object to avow it ? " 

" Well, it is so," she replied. " I do think that all tlio 
circumstances — taking one loss, one disagreeable event mth 



308 ANNE HEREFORt). 

another — tend to point to a certain quarter. But I may be 
wrong." 

" To whom ? " he asked. 

" That is just the question that I knew would follow," 
returned Mrs. Penn, " and I must decline to »nswer it. No, Mr. 
Chandos ; you possess the same facilities for observing and 
judging that I do : in fact, greater ones : and if you cannot 
draw your own deductions, I certainly will not help you to 
them. I might be wrong, you know." 

" You must allude to an inmate of Chandos ? " 

" I should deem it impossible that any but an inmate of 
Chandos could i)lay these tricks. Where would be their 
opportunity ? " 

" Mrs. Penn, if you possess any clue ; nay, if you think you 
have any well-founded cause for suspicion, you ought to impart 
it to me," he gravely said. 

5 " Were I sure that my suspicions were correct, I would do 
so ; but, as I say, they may be mistaken. Forgive me, if I 
hint that perhaps your own eyes are shut closer than they 
need be." 

She hastened away, leaving the impression of her mysterious 
words behind. I wondered very much if she alluded to Lizzy 
Dene. 

That same evening I had an opportunity of asking her. 
Mr. Chandos went to the west wing after dinner, I sat near the 
lights, working at my bag, when Mrs. Penn came into the oak- 
parlour, not having troubled herself to knock for admittance. 

"It's good to be you, Anne Hereford," she said, putting 
herself into Mr. Chandos's chair by the fire. " I wish I had 
this room to sit in." 

" Are the rooms upstairs not comfortable ? " 

" I don't know about comfort : they are wretchedly dull. I'd 
as soon be cooped up in a prison. Not a soul to speak to from 
morning to night, but Mrs. Chandos. Here you have Mr. 
Chandos ; arc full of state and ceremony ; and have the chance 
of seeing all the visitors." 

" All the visitors consist of a doctor now and then, and Mr. 
Dexter once a week, or so," I said, laughing. 



A NIGHT ALARM. 309 

" A doctor and an agent are better than no one. I suppose," 
she added, after a pause, " they are all assembled in conclave 
in the west wing ; Mr, Chandos, Mrs. Chandos, and my lady." 

" I wish Lady Chaudos was better," I remarked. 

Mrs. Penn turned eagerly, her eye lighting with excitement. 

" I tcish I knew what is the matter with her ! I wish I knew ! 
Do you never gather a hint of it from Mr. Chandos ? " 

" Never. But why should you be so desirous of learning ? 
What is it to you, Mrs. Penn ? " 

'' I have my reasons," she replied, nodding her head. " I 
won't tell them to you this evening, but I have not made a vow 
that I never will. If she is insane, as I susiject, why then — 
but I'll say no more now. What a strange thing it is about 
that letter ! " 

" Very. You are suspecting some one in particular ? " 

" Well '? " she answered, sharply, turning her face to me. 

" Is it Lizzy Dene ? " 

" Who it is, or who it is not, is nothing to you," she rejoined, 
in the crossest tone I ever heard. " I know this : I would give 
the worth of a dozen letters ten times over to bring the mystery 
to light. They may be suspecting you and me next." 

" Mrs. Penn ! " 

" Yes, Mrs. Penn ! " she retorted, in a mocking tone. " We 
are the only strangers in the house, Anne Hereford." 

As if my words had angered her beyond redemjition, she 
quitted the room abruptly. Very soon Mr. Chandos returned 
to it, and the tea came in. He began talking of the lost letter 
— of the unpleasantness altogether. Should I tell him my 
doubt ? The old proverb runs, that if a woman deliberates she 
is lost : it proved so in my case, and I mentioned Lizzy Dene. 

" Lizzy Dene ! " repeated Mr. Chandos, in great surprise. 
" Lizzji Dene ! " 

" But indeed it is a doubt more than a suspicion ; and it 
arises chiefly from my having found her in my room that 
night," I eagerly added, feeling half-afraid of what I had done, 
and determined not to hint at her supposed alliance with Mr. 
Edwin Barley. 

" Rely upon it, you are wrong, Anne," Mr. Chandos decided. 



310 ANNE HEREFORD 

" Lizzy Dene would be the very last woman to act treacherously 
towards our family. She may be foolishly superstitious, but 
she is honest as the day. I'll answer for her.'' 

How could I say more ? — unless my grounds against Lizzy 
Dene had been surer. Joseph took away the tea-things, and 
Mr. Chandos went to his own sitting-room. I stood at the 
little table in the corner of the room nearest the window 
putting my work-box to rights. Some of its reels were on the 
window-ledge, and I moved to get them. 

I don't know why I should have done it ; unthinkingly, I 
believe ; but I drew aside the muslin curtain to look out on the 
lovely night, and found my face in contact (except for the glass 
between us) with that of another face, peering in. Terribly 
startled, I drew away with a scream. Mr. Chandos came back 
at the moment, and I gave a frightened word of explanation. 
Quick as lightning, he laid forcible hold of me, put me in a 
chair, ordered me to stay in it in the most peremptory manner 
— and turned to the window to fling it up. One moment and 
he had leaped out : but in his haste he broke a pane of glass. 

I sat there, trembling ; the window open, the curtain waving 
gently in the night breeze — and the thought of that terrible 
face without. Mr. Chandos looked stern and white when he 
returned — not through the window — and blood was dripping 
from his hand. 

" I can see no one : but I could not stay long, my hand bled 
so," he said, taking \\\) his white handkerchief which lay on the 
table, and winding it round the palm. " But now— Anne, do 
you think these can be fancies of yours ? This is the second 
time." 

" I wish I could think so. I am certain a man stood there, 
looking in. He had not time to draw away. I just moved to 
the window from that corner, so that he did riot see me 
approaching." 

" Whose face ^\'as it '? That man's by the lodge-gates — 
Edwin Barley ? " 

My very fear. But I did not dare say so. What I did say 
was the strict truth — that it had all passed so momentarily, 
and I was so startled, as to allow no chance of recognition. 



A NIGKT ALARM. 3U 

" Can you find a piece of linen rag, Anne ? I don't care to 
make a commotion over tliis. I dare say I can do up my hand 
myself: I'm a bit of a surgeon." 

I ran upstairs to get some, and began turning over tlie con- 
tents of my large trunk in search of it. In doing this, a small 
parcel, very small, came into my hands, and I looked at it with 
some curiosity, not remembering what it contained. 

As I tmdid the paper two sovereigns fell into my hand. 
They were not mine ; I possessed none. As I looked and 
wondered, a strange thought flashed through my mind : were 
they the two lost sovereigns marked by Mr, Chandos ? 

There was no time for speculation ; Mr. Chandos was waiting 
for the rag. Finding it, I went down. 

" You ought to put your hand in warm water, Mr. Chandos. 
There may be fragments of glass in it." 

" I was thinking so," he said ; when at that moment Hickens 
came in with a letter. The man noticed the white handkerchief 
and its stains. 

" You have met with an accident, sir." 

" Ah," said Mr. Chandos, in a tone of raillery, making liglit 
of the affair ; " this conies, Hickens, of doing things in a hurry. 
You must bring me a basin of warm water. I attempted to 
open the window, not observing it was fastened, and my hand 
slipped through the glass. Close the shutters. At once." 

Hickens went to the window : I stood by Mr. Chandos witlx 
the linen rag. " Presently," he nodded ; " I must wait for the 
water. Open this for me, will you, Anne ? " 

I unsealed the letter, and opened it. In handing it to him, 
my eyes accidentally fell upon my own name. 

" It is about me ! " I exclaimed, impulsively, 

Mr. Chandos ran his eyes over the lines — there were very 
few — and "n scowl contracted his brow. He read them over 
again, and then folded the letter with his one hand. 

" Hickens, who brought this ? "When did it come ? " 

" It came but now, sir. A lad brought it to the back-door. 
I hai^pened to be standing there, and took it from him. ' For 
Mr. Chandos,' he said, and turned away. I thought how quickly 
he made off." 



312 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Should you know him again ? " 

" No, sir, I think not. I'm not sure, though." 

" Well, bring the warm water." 

" Is the letter from Madame de Mellissie ? " I asked. 

" I don't know who it is from," said Mr. Chandos. " It is 
anonymous." 

" Anonymous ! And about me 1 " 

I stood looking at him. I connected this letter with the two 
sovereigns I had just found : was any one at work to ruin me 
in the estimation of Chandos House ? 

" Mr. Chandos, that is not a jileasant letter, is it ? " 

" Anonymous letters never are pleasant," he rejoined. " If I 
had my way, the writers of such should all be shaken in a bag 
together and sunk in the bottom of the sea. Do not let it 
trouble you ; it defeats its own ends." 

" Will you allow me to read it ? " 

" It would give you no pleasure." 

" But it might afford me some light ; and light is what I 
ant just now ; I do indeed. Let me see it, Mr. Chandos ! I 
request it as a favour." 

" Very well. My showing it to you will prove the sort of 
estimation I have for it." 

Taking the letter from his unresisting hand, I opened it and 
laid it before me. It ran as follows : — 

"Mi{. Chandos, 

" It is rumoured that you have some trouble in your 
house, and are suspecting your servants. The probability is 
that they are honest ; they have been with you long enough to 
be proved. There are two strangers under your roof: the 
companion to Mrs. Chandos, and the younger lady, Miss Here- 
ford. Just reflect that all the misfortunes have occurred since 
these ladies entered Chandos. In doing this, perhaps you will 
find a way out of the wood. The suggestion is offered by 

" A Friend." 

"This would implicate Mrs. Penn as well as myself!" J 
Cxclaiiflecl. 



A NIGHT ALARM. 313 

' " Yes," he said. " Forgetting that Mrs. Penn is a sufferer. 
Or jierhajis not knowing it." 

The tears rose to my eyes : I could not help it. *' Then — do 
you doubt me, Mr. Chandos ? " 

He touched my arm ; and those grave eyes of his, half 
laughing then, looked into mine. 

" Doubt you ? So greatly that I am deliberating whether I 
shall not call in the police again and give you in charge." 

It Avas said in jest I knew, but at that moment it told upon 
me, and the tears were palpably near the surface. Hickens 
was heard approaching with the basin of water. 

" Oh, Anne, Anne ! you are a very simple child." 

" Will you see to your hand, sir ? " 

" Ay, it Avants seeing to." 

It was the palm that was cut ; badly, I thought. Mr. 
Chandos seemed to understand what to do, and dressed it him- 
self with the butler's help, I watching the process. When wc 
were alone again, I took the little parcel from my pocket, and 
gave it to Mr. Chandos. 

" Will you please to ojien that, sir ? " 

" Two sovereigns," he cried, as he did so. " What of them ? " 

I told him all about it, where I had found them. He held 
them to the light, and smiled. 

" They are the sovereigns I lost out of my desk, Anne." 

" Are you sure ? " 

" Sure '? Here are the marks. See." 

Standing close, I looked where he pointed. The marks were 
quite plain. I went to my seat and sat down. 

" And you found them in your trunk ! Anne, who is your 
enemy in the house ? " 

" I did not know I had one, sir. So far as I am aware, I have 
not given offence to any one within it. I must quit it now." 

" Oh, indeed ! What else would you like to do ? " 

I could no longer keep my tears back. " It seems to me, 
Mr. Chandos, that I am no longer safe in it." 

" You are perfectly safe, Anne, for you possess in it a strong 
protector. One who will not suffer harm to reach you ; who 
will guard annoyance from you so far as shall bo practicable," 



314 ANNE HEEEFORD. 

I knev/ that lie alluded to liimself, and thanted him in my 
heart. But — so far as was practicable ! There it lay. If I 
really had a hidden enemy, who might shield me ? Mr. Edwin 
Barley it could not be ; and I fell back upon Lizzy Dene. 

Mr. Chandos began telling ofi" the inmates on his fingers. 

" There's my mother, Mrs. Chandos, myself. Hill, Hickens ; 
for all these I can answer. Then come" the servants. For 
some of them I can equally answer, Lizzy Dene being one of 
them ; but I regard them all as honest and trustworthy." 

" Therefore the uncertain ones are only Mrs. Penn and 
myself." 

" And Mrs. Penn is certainly exempted," he rejoined. '• For 
she has been interfered with in an equal degree with any of us." 

" That leaves only me ! " 

" Just so ; only you. But, Anne," bending those earnest eyes 
upon me, " I would answer for you with my life." 

" If it is not Lizzy Dene that is my enemy, who else can 
it be ? " I exclaimed, foolishly speaking what was in my 
thoughts. 

" Why should you think it Lizzy Dene more than any one 
else? " he hastily cried, in resentful tones. " She can have no 
cause of enmity against you." 

There flashed across me that interview with Mr. Ed\vin 
Barley. If it was Lizzy Dene who had held it, who was in 
league with him, no need to search for a motive. 

" That I have an enemy is indisputable. The letter you 
have just received and these sovereigns prove it." 

" Anne, Lizzy Dene could not have written such a letter as 
this." 

That he was prejudiced in favour of Lizzy Dene, determined 
to admit nothing against her, seemed evident ; and I let the 
subject drop. 

But now the strangest incident was to occur ; an alarming 
incident ; nay, it might rather be called a scene. In the short 
silence that supervened, Mrs, Penn glided into the room 
without notice. The word " glided " is not inapplicable ; she 
came softly in, scarcely seeming to move, her face scared, her 
voice sunk to a whisper. 



A NIGHT ALAEM. 315 

" Mr. Chanclos ! Do jon know tliat there are mounted police 
outside the house V " 

He rose from his seat, looking at her as if he thought she 
must be dreaming, 

" Mounted police ! " he repeated. 

" They are riding quietly up, three of them ; I saw their 
swords flash in the starlight. I had gone to the library to get 
a book for Mrs. Chandos ; she had sent to Hill for the key •, 
when I thought I heard a noise as of horsemen, and opened the 
shutters to look out. Oh, Mr. Chandos ! what can they have 
come for ? They once rode up to a house where I was staying, 
in the same silent manner ; it was to make investigations in a 
cuarge of murder." 

I had seen Mr. Chandos turn pale before ; you have heard 
me say so ; but I never saw a tinge so livid in man or woman 
as that which overspread his countenance now. He retained 
nevertheless his self-possession ; ay, and that quiet tone of 
command which somehow is rarely disobeyed. 

" You will be so kind as to return immediately to Mrs. 
Chandos," he calmly said to Mrs. Penn. " Close the doors of 
the cast wing as soon as you have entered, and keep her attention 
amused. She is excitable — as you by this time probably know 
— and this visit must be kept from her cognizance." 

Allowing no time for answer or dissent, he took Mrs, Pcnn 
by the hand somewhat pcrcmi^torily, and watched her upstairs. 
Then he stole to the hall-door and silently put up its bar. As 
for me, I do not know that I had ever in my whole life felt so 
sick and frightened. All the past scene at Mr. Edwin Barley's, 
when the mounted police had come there, recurred to me : and 
Mr, Chandos's manner completed the dread, I j^ut my hands 
on his arm ; reticence was forgotten in the moment's terror ; as 
he stood listening in the middle of the oak-jiarlour. 

" Tell me what it is ! Tell me ! " 

" Oh, Anne, this is an awful blow," he said, in the dcei:)est 
agitation, as if he had never heard my words. " I joked about 
the police coming to take you in charge, but — ■ — " 

" Not for me I They cannot have come for me ! " I reiterated 
foolishly, in my confused alarm. 



316 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Would to Heaven they liad come for you ! I mean, would 
they had come for one who could as readily be exonerated as 
you ! Mercy ! mercy ! so the blow has fallen at last ! " 

The words brought to my memory what Mrs. Penn had said, 
about a sword hanging by a single hair over Mr. Chandos and 
his family. I don't think he knew what he was about. He 
walked across the hall towards the stairs, hesitated, and came 
back, listening evidently for the summons of the police ; all in 
the deepest agitation and alarm. 

" It may be well not to go ! " he muttered. " Better that I 
should be here to face them when they enter ! Anne, run and 
find Hill : bring her hither quickly : but make no alarm." 

I knew it was the supper hour in the housekeeper's room, 
and ran to it. Hill was seated at the head of the table, the 
upper-servants round her. 

" Mrs. Hill," I said, appearing among them without ceremony, 
" Mr. Chandos wants you for a moment. Instantly, if you 
please." 

" There ! Ilis hand has begun bleeding again ! " surmised 
Hickens, who occupied the chair opposite Hill. Mrs. Hill said 
nothing, but rose and followed me. As we passed through the 
hall, there came a loud ring at the front-door. 

" Hill," Mr. Chandos whispered, drawing her into the oak- 
parloiu', and there was a world of dread and terror in his tone, 
" mounted police are outside the house." 

She shrieked aloud, making the room ring. The woman 
actually trembled all over. 

" Hush ! " interrupted Mr. Chandos. " Don't lose your senses. 
Hill." 

" Oh, Mr. Harry ! the police at last ! It's what I have 
dreamt of over since that awful night ! " 

" Well, you and I must be calm. You know the plan decided 
upon ; if it ever came to this. I may not go ; I must stay and 
face it. Make haste ! And — Hill ! loch the outer door of the 
east wing on the outside ; Mrs. Chandos must not see these men." 

Hill did not stay to listen. She appeared to take in all, and 
was flying up the stairs, breathless and panting. There came 
ftiiotljer ring : and Robin, one of the under men, who was 



iU THE GALLEliY. 317 

tJoniihg aci*oss the hall, increased liis siieed. Mr. Chandos 
arrested him. 

" Robin, desire Hickens to attend himself. I wish it." 

The man turned back, and Mr. Chandos stood for a moment 
against the wall, his hands np to his pale face. 

"Mr. Chandos ! " I said, in emotion great as his, " what are 
you afraid of ? what dreadful thing is this ? Confide in me ! 
tell me ! " 

" Tliat you may run from me, as the rest will do 1 You haVe 
said the word, Anne — dreadful. That is it." 

Hickens was advancing to the hall. Mr. Chandos went out 
to him ; I looked from the parlour-door. 

" Hickens," said Mr. Chandos, speaking with apparent care- 
lessness, " these may be the police at the door. If so, they 
may enter." 

" The police again, sir ! " returned Hickens, in consternation. 
" Weren't they satisfied with their last visit '? What can they 
want at this hour ? " 

" That's my business," replied Mr. Chandos. And Hickens 
turned to the entrance. 

" What a cowardly donkey that Joseph is, barring up the 
house before bed-time ! " quoth Hickens to himself as he threw 
wide the door. 

Threw it wide, and admitted two of the officers. The third 
remained in charge ot the horses. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

IN THE GALLERY. 



Mr. Chandos advanced with suavity ; the officers saluted him 
and took off their hats. He held his handkerchief to his face, as 
if fearing the draught : I knew that it was to shade his livid 
countenance. 

" A late visit, gentlemen ! To what am I indebted for it ? " 
He had been gradually withdrawing to the oak-parlour as he 
spoke, and they came with him. I drew back in confused 



318 ANNE HEREFOED. 

indecision, and stood in the remotest and darkest corner. I 
had not courage to quit the room, for I must have brushed by 
them : I hoi)ed that Mr. Chandos would see and dismiss me. 
But no ; he never looked my way. He closed the door, in the 
face of Hickens, whose state of mind seemed an even balance 
between wonder and dismay. 

" We could not get here sooner, sir," observed one of the 
officers, who spoke quite like a gentleman, " but we hope the 
delay has not been inconvenient to you. The inspector, to 
whom your note was addressed, was out when it arrived, so 
that it was not opened immediately." 

Had the sentence been spoken in an unknown tongue, it 
could not more completely have puzzled Mr. Chandos, to judge 
by his looks. 

" What note do you speak of ? " 

" The note you sent in to-day." 

This appeared to be no elucidation to Mr. Chandos. 

" Will you tell me what its contents were ? " 

" We received but one, sir. It requested two or three of us 
to be here to-night, mounted. It intimated that the thief, who 
has been playing tricks in your house, was discovered, and 
would be given up to us. Our inspector wondered why we 
were wanted to come mounted." 

The change that fell over the face of Mr. Chandos ! the light 
of hope, the rush of renewed colour ! It was as one awakening 
from death to life. 

" Gentlemen," he said, with a smile, as he pointed to seats, 
" I fear a trick has been played upon you. I have not -ttTfitton 
to your inspector, and most certainly possess, as yet, no clue to 
the parties who have been so disagreeably busy at Chandos." 

They seemed scarcely to believe him. For my own part I 
could hardly tell what was real, what not. 

"But you must not return without refreshment, although 
you have had a useless ride," concluded Mr. Chandos, when 
some further explanation had passed. " It shall be brought in 
at once," he added, ringing for Hickens. " And this young 
lady," looking at me for the first time, " will obligingly see the 
housekeeper and bid her hasten it." 



IN THE GALLERY. 319 

1 obeyed the look and followed liiiu into tlie liall. llickens 
was there. 

" Supper, Hickens. These gentlemen will take some before 
their departure. Bring the best of what you have, and be quick 
over it." 

Hickens moved away with alacrity : the word " departure " 
had reassured him, and also seemed to afford hope that his 
curiosity would be satisfied. Mr. Clumdos caught my hand and 
drew me through the door to the foot of the stairs. His own 
hand was trembling, and cold as ice : unconsciously, I think, to 
himself, he laid it on my shoulder, and spoke in the gentlest 
whisper. 

" Go to the west wing, Anne. Knock at the outer door, but 
do not attempt to enter. Hill will answer you. Tell her to 
inform Lady Chandos that it is a false alarm ; that the officers 
have only come respecting what was recently lost from my 
desk, and I have ordered suj^per for them. Say that I will be 
with my mother as soon as possible, but I remain at present to 
entertain them." 

He returned swiftly to the parlour, closing the door, leaving 
me to proceed on my errand. Hill answered my knock, her 
face and her caj) of an equal whiteness, and I delivered the 
message, speaking in whisp.ers. Strangely relieved seemed she, 
at least in an equal degree with Mr. Chandos, and she made me 
repeat the little I had heard said by the officers, as if scarcely 
daring to believe the good tidings, without confirmation. 

" Heaven bo praised ! " she exclaimed ; " it would just have 
killed my lady. Bless you, child, for the good news." 

That Hill's mental relief must have been something extra- 
ordinary for her to bless me, one could only acknowledge ; and 
I excused her shutting the baize door in my face. 

In less than half-an-hour, I heaixl the jx)lice ride away, as I 
sat in my chamber, and Mr. Chandos passed to the west wing. 
It was very dull for me in that lonely bedroom, and only half- 
past nine o'clock ; so I thought I might go down again. 
Hickens was putting the things together on the supper tray. 

" Miss, do you know what those men came for ? " he asked. 

" Well, Hickens, not exactly. Nothing at all to be afraid of, 



S20 ANNE HEREFORD. 

so far as I could gather. I heard Mr. Chandos laughing with 
them when they went away." 

" Oh, I heard that ; I was rung for to show 'em out," returned 
Hickens. " My opinion is this, miss, that it's just a scandal lor 
policemen to ride up at will on a dark night to a gentleman's 
seat, and if I were Mr. Chandos I'd let them know it. Swords, 
indeed ! What next ? " 

He went away with his tray. Five minutes afterwards Mr. 
Chandos came down. He was gay ; his step was light, his face 
smiling. It was the reaction that sometimes sets in after 
deliverance from great fear. I had not thought to see him 
again that night : and stupidly said so. 

" No ! I came to look after you ; lest you should have melted 
away with terror. Were you very much alarmed, Anne ? " 

" Yes ; just at first." 

" Take it for all in all, this has been a sensational evening," 
he resumed, laughing. " My accident at the window ; your 
discovery of the marked money in your box ; and the visitation 
of the police. Private families cannot often boast of so much 
entertainment all at once." 

I looked at him wistfully. After the intense agitation and 
dread he had betrayed, this light tone sounded unnatural ; almost 
like a pretence. 

" Mr. Chandos, I fear you live in some great peril," was my 
timid rejoinder. " I suppose I may not be told what it is ; but 
I wish I could help you ; I wish I could avert it from you, 
whatever it may be." 

As if by magic, his mood changed, and the shadow came back 
to his countenance. " So you won't let me cheat myself, Anne 1 
I was trying to do so." 

" If you would only tell me what it is I If I could avert it 
from you ! " 

" No living being can do that, child. I wish I could forget 
it, if only for a moment." 

" And you cannot ? " 

" Never ; by night or by day. I appear as the rest of the 
world does ; I laugh and talk ; but within lies ever that one 
terrible care, weighing me down like an incubus." 



IN THE GALLERY. 321 

How terrible it was, I could see even then, as he covered his 
eyes for a moment with his wasted hand. 

" But to-night has brought mo a great relief — though it may 
be only temporary," he resumed, looking up. " How thankful 
I felt when the police explained their errand, God alone can 
ever know." 

" But what errand did you fear they had come upon ? " 

" That I cannot tell you. Not upon quite so harmless a one 
as it turned out to be." 

" Better, perhaps, that they had come for me." 

Mr. Chandos smiled — as well he might at the words ; and 
passed to a gayer strain. 

" Which of the three would you have preferred to ride be- 
fore, had I given you into custody for finding that money 
of mine in your possession? We must have searched for a 
pillion!" 

But I did not answer in the same spirit ; I could not so 
readily forget my alarm, or their hidden trouble. Very gravely, 
for it was nearly bed-time, I put my hand out to wish him 
good-night. He took it within his, and there was a moment's 
silence. 

" Anne," he said, his low voice sounding very solemn in the 
stillness of the room, " you have to-night been forced into what 
may be called a species of confidence as to our unhappy secrets ; 
at least, to have become cognizant that Chandos has things to 
be concealed. Will you be true to us— in so far as not to 
speak of this ? " 

" I will, sir." 

" In the house and out of it ? " 

" I will be true as Heaven," I answered in my earnestness. 
" I will seem to forget that I know anything of it myself." 

" Thank you, my best friend. Good-night." 

I had come up earlier than usual ; it was not ten o'clock ; 
and I thought I might read for half-an-hour without transgress- 
ing any good rule. But where had I left my book '? Looking 
about, I could not see it. 

Then it occurred to me that I had been sitting reading in 
the gallery-window for some minutes before dinner, and must 

Anne Hereford. 21 



322 ANNE HEREFORD. 

have left the book there. It was only a few stei:)S, and I went 
to fetch it. 

There it was. I found it by feel, not by sight. The moon 
was bright again, but the shutters were closed and barred. It 
was that beautiful story, the " Heir of Eedclylfe." Madame de 
Mellissie had bought the Tauchnitz edition of it in Paris, and 
had left it behind her at Chandos. Soon after she departed, 
I had found it and read it ; and was now dipping into it again. 

But as I took it in my hand, a strange thing occurred, 
frightening me almost to death. Turning from the window, 
the whole length of gallery was before me up to the door of 
the west wing, the moonlight streaming into it here and there 
from the high windows above. Midway in the passage, revealed 
by the moonlight, was a shadowy form ; looking like nothing 
on earth but an apparition. 

I was in the dark ; remember that. Gliding slowly along, 
one of its arms stretched out, looking just as if it were 
stretched out in warning to me to escape — and I had not the 
sense then to remember that I must be invisible — on it came. 
A tall, thin form, with a white and shadowy face. There was 
no escape for me : to fly to my own room would be to meet it ; 
and no other door of refuge was open. 

It has never been your fate, as I feel sure, my gentle reader, 
to be at one end of a gallery in a haunted house at night and 
see a ghost gliding towards you from the other ; so please do 
not laugh at me. What my sensations were I can neither 
describe nor you conceive : I cannot bear to think of them 
even now. That I beheld the ghost, said to haunt Chandos, 
my fainting heart as fully believed, in that moment, as it 
believed in Heaven. Presence of mind forsook me ; all that 
the wildest imagination can picture of superstitious terror 
assailed me : and I almost think — yes, I do think—- that I 
might have lost my senses or died, but for the arrival of succour. 

Ohj believe me ! In these awful moments, which have on 
occf\sion come to peojjle in real life far more certainly and 
terribly than anything ever represented in fiation, believe me, 
God is ever at hand to send relief. The overstnmg mind is 
not abandoned to itself: very, very rarely indeed arc oiu* 



IN THE GALLERY. 323 

guardian angels absent, or unready to work by an earthly 
instrument. 

It came to me in the person of Mr. Chandos. Ascending the 
stairs, a candle in his hand, softly whistling in unconcern, he 
came. It was no moment for deliberation : had it been a king 
or an emperor, it had been all the same to me. With a great 
cry of anguish that escaped from me in the tension of nerves 
and brain, I clasped his arm, as if I dare not let him go 
again ; dropping the book on the carpet of the gallery. 

I suppose he put the wax-light down ; I suppose he got over 
his astonishment in some way: all I knew was that in a 
moment he was holding me in his arms, trying to soothe iny 
fears. Reaction had come, and with it tears ; never before had 
I cried so violently ; and I clung to him still in an agony of 
terror, as one, drowning, clings to the living. But nothing 
remained in the gallery. Whatever had been in it had vanished. 
" What is all this ? What has alarmed you ? " 
" It was there ; coming towards me ! " I whispered hysteri- 
cally in answer. " Oh forgive me ! I feel as though I should 
die.'"' 

" What was coming ? " he inquired. 

" The same — I think — that is seen in the grounds. The 
ghost. I saw it distinctly." 

" How can you be so foolish ? How can you take n-p these 
absurd fancies ? " he remonstrated, in sharp tones, moving some 
steps away from me. 

" I saw it, Mr. Chandos ; I did indeed. It came onwards 
with its arm raised, as if to warn me away : a tall skeleton of a 
form, with features the hue of the dead. Features that bore, in 
their outlines, a great resemblance to yours." 

Was it fancy ? or was it fact ? — that his own features, as 1 
spoke, assumed a livid hue, just as they had done when the 
police-officers came ? 

" What were you doing out here '? " he asked, in the same 
sharp accent. 

" I only came to the window-seat to get a book. I saw it as 
I turned to go back." 

" You saw nothing," he persisted, with some M'armth. " I 



324 A.NNE HEREFORD. 

am astonished at you, Miss Hereford : tlie fancy was the 
creation of your own brain, and nothing more. Pray, if the 
ghost was hero then, where is it now ? " 

" I don't know. It disappeared : I think it seemed to go 
back towards the west wing. It was certainly there." 

" You are certainly silly," was his response. " A great deal 
more so than I had given you credit for." 

" Ah, Mr. Chaudos, you cannot reason me out of my senses. 
Thank you, thank you ever for coming u]) the stairs just then : 
I do believe I should have died, or lost my reason." 

Taking up the " Heir of Eedclyffe," I walked to my room, 
went in, and shut the door. Mr, Chandos piilled it open again 
sharply. 

" Forgive me if I have been harsh. Good-night." 

" Oh yes, sir ; I know how foolish it must seem to you. 
Good-night." 

" Go to rest in peace and safety, Anne. And be assured that 
no ill, ghostly or human, shall work you harm whilst I am at 
hand to prevent it." 

I closed the door and bolted it, a vague ider^ in my mind that 
a bolted door was some sort of safeguard against a ghost. Mr. 
Chandos's footsteps died away in the direction of the west 
wing. 

With the morning, a little of the night's impression had 
vanished, for the sun was shining brilliantly. Ghosts and sun- 
light don't accord with each other. Ghosts that are ghosts at 
midnight, in the warm and cheery morning sun have vanished 
into unknown regions. I dressed as usual, in better spirits 
than might be supposed, and went down. Mr. Chandos was 
earlier than I, and stood at the window in the oak-parlour. 
He took my hand and retained it for some moments in silence. 
I stood looking from the window as he did. 

" And how is the ghost this morning, Anne ? " 

" I wish you would regard me as a rational being, Mr. 
Chandos ! Do anything but treat me as a child." 

" Nay, I think you proved yourself both irrational and a 
child last night," he laughingly said. 

" Indeed I did not. I wish you had seen what I saw." 



IN THE GALLERY. 325 

" I wi«li I liad," was the mocking answer. " Anne, trust me : 
there is no ghost inside Chandos, whatever they may say as to 
there being one out of it." 

" I don't know how I shall be able to go uj)stairs alone at 
night again." 

" Nor I. You will want Hill and half-a-dozen lighted torches 
to escort you. Do you remember my remarking, that last 
evening, taking one event with another, was a sensational one ? 
But I did not suppose it was to wind up with anything so grand 
as a ghost." 

The ridicule vexed me. It was as if he ridiculed me. In 
spite of my good sense, the vexation appeared in my eyes. 

" There ! We will declare a truce, Anne, and let the ghost 
drop. I don't want to make you angry with me." 

" I am not angry, sir. I can never repay all your kindness 
to me ; and especially that last one of coming to my relief last 
night." 

" Which was accidental. Shall I tell you how you can repay 
it all, Anne ? " 

His voice dropped to seriousness ; his eyes, a strange sadness 
seated in their depths, looked into mine. 

" I wish you could, sir.' 

" Let this matter of your ghost be a perfect secret between 
you and me. One to be disclosed to no one." 

" Certainly. I promise." 

That some great reason prompted the request was immistak- 
able : that there were certain interests attaching to this 
" ghost," whether it might walk without doors or within, could 
only be apparent. How I wished he would take me into his 
confidence ! — if it were only that I might show him that I 
would be true and faithful. But for the strange ret'conce 
imposed by love when once it takes possession of the soul, I 
might have boldly suggested this. 

He leaned out of the window inhaling the crisp air of the 
bright October morning. Courage at length came to me to say 
a word. 

" Of course, sir, I do not fail to see that there are interests 
here that involve caution and care, though I cannot think how, 



326 ANNE HEREFORD. 

or Avhat they are. If you would entrust me with them— and 
I could help iu auy way — I should be glad. I would be so 
true." 

" Ay, I am sure you would be. Latterly a vision has crossed 
me of a time — a possible future when it might be disclosed to 
you. But it is neither probable nor near. Indeed, it seems 
like a dream even to glance at it." 

The urn was brouglit in, and I went to the table to make the 
tea. News2)ai)crs and letters arrived ; he Avas buried in them 
during breakfast, and carried them afterwards to his own 
sitting-room. 

I saw his horse brought to the door in the course of the 
morning. In crossing the hall, he looked in at the oak-parlour. 
I was mending gloves. 

" Hard at work ! Do you wear mended gloves ? " 

" Every one is not Mr. Chandos of Chandos. Poor gover- 
nesses have to wear many things that the gay world does not. 
And Mrs. Paler has not paid me." 

" Shall I bring you some gloves home to-day ? " 

" Oh no, indeed ; no, thank you," I ans^vered, speaking and 
colouring much more vehemently than the occasion calletl for. 
" Are you going for a ride ? " 

" I am going to the police-station at Warsall, to endeavour 
to obtain a sight of that note." 

" Who could have written it ? It seems so useless a hoax to 
have played." 

" Useless ? As it turned out, yes. But it strikes me the 
intention was neither harmless nor useless," he added, in a 
thoughtful tone. 

" Shall you not institute an inquiry into it, Mr. Chandos ? " 

" No. I shall pick up what there may be gathered in a quiet 
way ; but I shall make no stir in it. 1 have my reasons 
for this. Good-bye, Anne. Mind you mend those gloves 
neatly." 

•- Good-bye, sir. Take care that Black Knave does not throw 
you again." 

He went away laughing at his own remark about the gloves, 
or mine about Black Knave, went uji to the west wing, and was 
down again in a minute. The horse was a favourite, and he 



IN THE GALLERY. 327 

patted him and si^oke to liim before mounting. The groom rodo 
a bright bay horse ; a fine animal also. 

Surely there was no harm in my looking from the window 
to watch them away ! But Mrs. Penn, who came into the oak- 
parlour at the moment, appeared to think so. Her lips were 
drawTi in and her brow had a frown on it as I turned to her. 
"With that want of ceremony that distinguished her ordinary 
behaviour to me, she threw herself back in an easy-chair. Her 
gown was a bright muslin ; her glowing hair was adorned with 
purple ribbons and black lace lappets. 

" What a place this Chandos seems to be ! " she exclaimed. 
" Did you ever see such a house. Miss Hereford ? That visit of 
the police — riding up with their drawn swords ! " 

" The swords were sheathed." 

" I can tell you it gave me a turn. And after all, after 
terrifying us nearly to death, Mr. Chandos, I hear, entertained 
them amicably at supper." 

" It was as well to be civil ; it was not their fault that they 
came here. A trick had been played on them." 

" A trick ? I don't understand." 

" A note was written in Mi\ Chandos's name to the inspector 
of police at Warsall, asking for mounted officers to be sent 
over. They supposed they were coming to take into custody 
the person who had been i)laying tricks at Chandos. Tricks 
was the word used." 

Mrs. Penn stared. " Who wrote the note V " 

" Mr. Chandos does not know. He received a note himself 
also last night, an anonymous one : insinuating that as you and 
I were the only strangers at Chandos, one of us must be the 
guilty person." 

" What next ? " demanded Mrs. Penn, angrily. " Does Mr. 
Chandos suppose I stole my own lace and rifled my own letter ? 
But it is only what I have anticipated." 

" Mr. Chandos knows better. I say it was the anonymous 
letter that suggested the idea to him. 1 thought it seemed to 
point more to me than to you." 

" Mr. Chandos would not admit the idea — would he '? " 

" Oh no. I am quite easy on that point. Mr. Chandos 
knows he may trust me." 



328 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Whether Mrs. Penn tliouglit this remark seemed to reflect on 
herself ; to shift the imputation on her, failing me, I could not 
tell ; certainly no such thought had been in my mind. Her 
eyes grew angry : she rose from the chair, and shook her finger 
in my face. 

" Anne Hereford, I have warned you once not to allow your- 
self to grow attached to Mr. Chandos ; I now warn you again. 
There are reasons — I may not speak them — why it could bring 
you nothing but misery. Misery is only a faint word for it : 
disgrace, shame ; more than you in your inexperience can 
imagine of evil. Better that you fell in love with the lowest 
man-servant attached to the j)lace, than with Harry Chandos." 

The tell-tale crimson rose to my cheeks, and I bent to pick 
one of the late rose-buds, entwining themselves about the trellis- 
work outside. 

" Child ! should harm ever come of this, recollect that I did 
my best to warn you. I am older than you by many years ; 
had I ever possessed a daughter, she might have been of your 
age." 

" Thank you, Mrs. Penn," I gently said ; " there is no cause 
to fear for me." 

" Where has Mr. Chandos gone to ? " 

" To Warsall. He would like to discover the writer of the 
note to the j)olice." 

"You seem to be quite in his confidence," remarked Mrs. 
Penn. 

" He told me so much — ^that he intended to ride there. It 
was no very great confidence." 

" There are many things I don't like in this house," she con- 
tinued, after an interval of silence. " What do you suppose 
they did last night ? Actually locked us up in the east wing ! 
Turned the key upon us ! I was coming forth to see if I could 
find out what those police were doing, and I found myself a 
l)ri.soner ! Madam Hill's act and deed, no doubt." 

" Indeed ! " was my reply, not choosing to tell her that I had 
heard the order given by Mr. Chandos. 

" Hill takes a great deal too much ujDon herself. I thought 
it could be no one else, and taxed her with it, asking how she 



IN THE (JALLEKY. 329 

could presume to lock me up. Slie coolly replied that slic had 
never thought of me at all in the affair, but of Mrs. Chandos, 
who was of a timid nature, and would not like to see policemen 
inside the house. " Poor thing ! she has cause," added Mrs. 
Penn, in a sort of soliloquy. 

" Mrs. Chandos has ! " 

" No unhappy prisoner escaped from Portland has more 
cause to dread the officers of justice than she. Your friend, 
Harry Chandos, has the same. I would not lead the life of 
apprehension he does, for untold gold. Look at the skeleton 
it makes of him! he is consuming away with inward fever. 
You were surprised when that London physician was brouglit 
down to him ; the household were surprised : I was not." 

" How came you to be so deep in their secrets ? " 

"Had I not been in their secrets, and shown them that I 
was, I should not have been admitted an inmate of that east 
wing," she answered. " Do you know, when the police came 

last night But I had better hold my tongue, or I might 

say too much." 

To avoid doing so, possibly, she left the room. But there 
were few women — as I believed — less likely than Mrs. Penn to 
be betrayed into speaking on impulse what it might be in- 
expedient to disclose. 

The adventures of the day were not over for me. I wish 
they had been ! I finished my gloves ; I practised ; I did a 
little German ; and in the afternoon, when it was getting late, 
I strolled out with my book, and sat down between the house 
and the lodge-gates in a sheltered seat ; where I could see who 
passed to and from the house, without being seen. 

The morning had been very lovely ; the evening was becoming 
less so ; the wind sighed amidst the trees, clouds passed rapidly 
over the face of the sky, and the autumn leaves whirled about 
the paths. Did it ever strike you that there is something 
melancholy in these lying leaves ? Many people like autumn 
best of the four seasons ; but I think there is in it a great deal 
of sadness. It brings our own autumn of life too forcibly to 
the mind : as the leaves of the trees decay, and foil, and die ; 
so must we when our time shall come. 



330 ANNE HEREFOED. 

I was listening to the rustle of the leaves, and watching — if 
this is to be a true confession — for Mr. Chandos, when he rode 
by to the house. Inclination would have led me to follow him ; 
common sense and propriety kept me where I was. Presently, 
I saw Lizzy Dene advancing q^uietly along one of the dark and 
private paths. She Avore her cloak and bonnet, and had a 
basket on her arm, as if she had been on an errand to the 
village. In a moment some gentleman had met her and they 
were talking together. It was Edwin Barley. There were so 
many outlets from the broad walk that almost any of these 
private paths could be gained at will. Lizzy Dene came on 
almost directly ; she seemed to be in a hurry, and turned off 
towards the kitchens. The next to apj^ear in the same walk 
was Mrs. Pcnn, who immediately went up to Mr. Edwin 
Barley. 

I was so sheltered by trees that they could not see me ; but 
as they came nearer, walking side by side, Mrs. Penn's eye 
caught mine. She quickened her pace, and Mr. Edwin Barley 
turned back, raising his hat to her. ■ 

" Here you are with your book," she began. " Is it not too 
dark to see to read ? " 

" Almost. Have you been for a w'alk, Mrs. Penn ? " I asked, 
hoping she would not mention the name of Edwin Barley. 

" I have been to the village post-ofl&ce. I don't care to 
entrust my letters now to the hall-table. Did you notice a 
gentleman wath me down there, Miss Hereford '? " 

" I think I did see some one walking with you. It is dark 
amidst all those trees." 

" I want to know his name," she continued, looking at mo. 
" He has accosted me once or twice lately. A very civil, 
gentlemanly man." 

" Is he ! He has sj)oken to me, and I — I did not think him 
so. At least, I did not much like him. He lives in that house 
by the lodge-gates." 

" Oh, then, it must be Mr. Edwin Barley, I suppose. Did 
you know his name ? " 

" Yes." 

" He is a friend of the people here, I imagine. He stopped 



IN THE GALLERY. 331 

mc just now and began asking after tlic health of Lady 
Chantlos, as if he had an interest in it." f 

" I should not answer any of his q^uestions at all, if I were 
you, Mrs. Penu." 

" Why not ? " 

" You don't know anything about him, or what his motives 
may be for inrpiry. I once he<ard Mr. Chandos warn him off 
th(!se grounds ; after that, he has no right to enter them. I 
think his doing so looks suspicious." 

" I think you must be a suspicious young lady to fancy it," 
returned Mrs. Penn with a laugh. " You were certainly born 
to be an old maid, Anne Hereford. They are always ultra- 
cautious." 

" I dare say I was." 

" When a gentleman— and a neighbour, as you now say he is 
^makes inquiries in passing after the invalids of the family 
you may be staying with, I do not see any harm in answering 
them. One can't turn away like a bear, and say, I will not 
tell you." 

" As you please. I do not think Mr. Chandos would approve 
of your speaking to him." 

" Talking of Mr. Chandos, has he returned from that police 
errand yet? " 

" I saw him ride past half-an-hour ago." 

"I must hasten home," she returned, beginning to move 
away. " Mrs. Chandos cannot be left for long. I have run all 
the way back from the post, and I ran to it." 

What a strangely persevering man that Edwin Barley seemed 
to be ! If Mrs. Penn knew — as she evidently did know— the 
dark secrets of the Chandos family, what might he not get out 
of her ? I almost made up my mind to inform Mr. Chandos. 

Alas for my poor courage ! Turning a sharp corner to go 
home, I came upon him standing there ; Edwin Barley. Was 
he waiting for me, or for Mrs. Penn ? But she had gone on by 
the other path. It was too late to retreat. I essayed to do it, 
but he placed himself in my way. 

"Not so fast, young lady. I have been expecting you to 
come up : I saw you in the distance, and waited to exchange a 



332 ANNE HEREFORD. 

word with you. Why ! you won't be so discourteous as to 
refuse me ! " 

" I cannot stay now, thank you." 

" Oh yes, you can — ^when I wish it. I want to inquire after the 
health of the family. There's no getting anything out of any 
one : they ' can't tell me how my lady is, except from hearsay ; ' 
they ' never see her,' they ' see nearly as little of Mr. Chandos.' 
You and I can he more confidential with each other." 

" No, we cannot, sir. I never see Lady Chandos, any more 
than others do." 

" You cannot say that of Mr. Harry ; you see a good deal of 
him," retorted Mr. Edwin Barley, with a parting of the lips 
that showed the subject vexed him. " You and he are always 
together — as news is brought to me." 

" Did Mrs. Penn tell you that ? " I asked, my colour and my 
auger rising together. 

" Mrs. Penn ! " 

" The lady you have just parted with," I answered, supposing 
he did not know her by name. 

" Mrs. Chandos's companion ? She's none too civil to me. 
You had a visit from the mounted police last evening ; an 
unexpected one, rumour runs. Did their sudden appearance 
confoimd Mr. Harry Chandos ? " 

How he seemed to know things ! Did he get them from 
mere rumour, or fi-om Lizzy Dene ? I remained silent. 

" Did they bring, I ask, confusion to Mr. Chandos ? Did he 
exhibit the aspect, the terror, of one who — -who has been guilty 
of some great crime, and dieads to expiate it ? " 

" 1 cannot tell you, sir." 

" You were with him, I know that much," he returned, in the 
same commanding, angry, imperative tones I had once heard 
him use to my aunt Sclina. 

" But what if I was ? I cannot say how Mr. Chandos felt 
or thought." 

" You can — if you choose to do so. I asked you how he 
looked ; what his manner betrayed : not what he felt or 
thought." 

Loving him as 1 did, bound to his interests, could I be 



IN THE GALLERY. 333 

otherwise than on my guard ? Nevertheless there must have 
been something in my tone and look that carried doubt to ]\Ir. 
Edwin Barley. 

" Mr. Chandos sjjoke to the officers quite calmly, sir. They 
were admitted at once, and he invited them into the sitting- 
room." 

He looked at me keenly : I say, there must have been some 
doubt on his mind. " Are you aware that I know you, Anne ? 
I think you must know me. As your uncle, your only living 
relative, I have a right to question you of these and other 
things." 

My heart beat violently. Almost too sick to speak felt I : 
and the words shook as they issued from my lij)s. 

"You are not my uncle, sir. Selina was my aunt, but " 

" And as Selina's husband, I became your uncle, Anne, by 
law. She is dead, but I am living : your uncle still. So you 
did know me ? " 

" I have known you, sir, ever since the day I first saw you 
here." 

" It is more than I did you, young lady ; or I should not 
have allowed you to remain so qxiietly at Chandos. For the 
sake of my dead wife, I take an interest in your welfare : and 
that will not be enhanced by your companionshij) with Harry 
Chandos." 

The hint conveyed by the words frightened me. He allow 
me ! he assume a right to control me ! I spoke out in my 
terror. 

" You cannot have any power over me or my actions, Mr. 
Edwin Barley." 

" Indeed I have, Anne. The law would say so. Do you 
know who Mrs. Penn is ? " he abruptly asked. 

" I don't know who Mrs. Penn is or where she comes from," 
was my quick reply, glad he had put a question at last that I 
could answer honestly. " Will you please to let me go, sir. 
It is getting dark," 

" Not just yet. You must first rejily to a question or two I 
wish to ask touching Harry Chandos. To begin with ; Does 
he go often from home ? " 



334 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" I canuot tell you anything whatever about Mr. Chandos — 
or what he does — or what any one else does. As long as I am 
in the family, protected by them, trusted by them, it is dis- 
honourable even to listen to such questions. But indeed I 
know nothing. If the Chandos family have secrets, they do 
not tell them to me," 

" I should not imagine they would. I am not asking you for 
secrets. There are reasons why I Avish to learn a little of their 
ordinary everyday doings. This, at any rate, is a simple 
question : Does Mr. Harry Chandos " 

" It is of no use, sir ; I will not answer that question or 
any other. Pray do not stop me again ! I hope you will 
pardon me for reminding you that I heard Mr. Chandos desire 
you not to intrude on these grounds : I think you ought to obey 
him, sir." 

His face, always stern, grew fierce in its anger. Perhaps it 
was only natural that it should do so. He raised his hand. 

" I hold the Chandoses under my finger and thumb. A little 
movement " (here he closed them), " and they may go trooping 
out of the kingdom to hide their disgrace ; your friend, Mr. 
Harry, with all his high and mighty pride, leading the van. 
It will not be long first. By the obedience you owed your 
aunt Selina, my dead wife, by the tenderness for her cherished 
memory, I order you to speak. You must do so, Anne." 

One single moment of hesitation— I am ashamed to confess 
to it ; but his voice and manner Avere so solemn — and my 
resolve returned, fixed and firm. 

" I have said that I will not, now or ever." 

He seized my two arms as if he were going to shake me ; his 
angry face, with its beautiful white teeth — he always showed 
them v>'hen in anger — close to mine. The old fear I used to 
have of him as a child clung to me still, and I cried aloud in 
my terror. I had always been wanting in presence of mind. 

It all passed in a moment. What I hardly knew. There 
was a crash as if the slender hedge gave way ; and Mr. Chandos 
was holding me behind him, having flung Mr. Edwin Barley 
against the opposite tree. 



( 335 ) 
CHAPTEE XXIV. 

MRS. PENn's revelation. 

Against tlie tree to wliicli the jiusli liad flung him, lie stood 
quietly. There had been no blow. Mr. Chandos had but come 
between xis, calmly put me behind him, laid his hand on Mr. 
Edwin Barley's chest, and sent him backwards. These slender, 
delicate-looking men sometimes possess unusual strength — as he 
did. Edmn Barley, in an encounter, would have been as a 
reed in his hand. 

Neither of them seemed in a passion : at least their manner 
did not betray it. Mr. Chandos's face was a little paler than 
common ; it was stern and haughty ; but otherwise he looked 
cool and collected. And Mr. Edwin Barley stood gazing at 
him, a strange look of power in his eye and lip. 

" How dare you presume to molest this young lady ? " were 
the first words of Mr. Chandos. " What do you mean by it ? '* 

" As to ' molesting,' I do not understand the term, as applied 
to Miss Hereford," returned Mr. Edwin Barley, with cool 
equanimity. " I possess the right to talk to her, and touch 
her ; you don't. Neither possess you the right to protect her ! 
I do. What relative may she be of yours ? " 

" None. But she is my mother's guest." 

" None ; just so. She is my niece." 

Mr. Chandos, with a gesture of astonishment, looked at me 
for confirmation or refutation. He received neither. I only 
clung to him for protection, the tears running down my cheeks. 

" She has no relative save myself ; she has no other relative, 
so far as I know, or she knows, in the world, except a lad 
younger than herself," pursued Mr. Edwin Barley, no anger in 
his tone, only the firmness of conscious power. " My niece, I 
tell you, sir." 

" Whatever she may be, she is residing under my mother's 
roof, and as such, is in my charge. If you ever dare to touch 
her against her will again, sir, I will horsewhip you." 

Mr. Chandos held his riding-whip in his hand as he spoke 



33G ANNE HEREFORD. 

(lie had brouglit it out by cliance), and it trembled ominously. 
Mr. Edwin Barley drew back bis lips : not in laughter ; in all he 
did he was in earnest ; and his teeth were momentarily seen. 

" Harry Chandos, you know that you will one day have to 
pay for your incivility." 

" I know nothing of the sort ; and if I did, the Chandoses 
are not given to calculation. I can tell you what you shall be 
made to pay for, Mr. Edwin Barley — trespassing upon my 
domains. I warned you off them once ; I will not warn you 
again — the law shall do it for me." 

" Tour domains ! " retorted Mr. Edwin Barley. 

" Yes, sir, mine," was the haughty answer. " They are mine 
so long as I am the representative of Sir Thomas Chandos. 
Have the goodness to quit them now, or I will call my servants 
to escort you." 

Whatever Mr. Edwin Barley might do privately, he knew he 
had no legal right to remain within the domains of Chandos, 
when ordered off them, and he was not one openly to defy 
usages. He moved away in the direction of the gates ; turning 
his head to speak, and halting as he did so. 

" The law, so far, lies with you at present, Mr. Harry 
Chandos. A short time, and perhaps it will lie with me, in a 
matter far more weighty. As to you, Anne, I shall officially 
claim you." 

Nothing else was said. Mr. Chandos watched him to the 
turning of the dark wall, then w^alked by my side to the house, 
flicking the shrubs with his whip. 

" I happened to have it with me," he said, whether address- 
ing the whip, or me, or the air, was not clear. " I was fastening 
the handle, which had got loose. Is that man youi' uncle ? " 

He turned to me, a look of stern pain on his pale, proud face. 
The tears gushed forth again at the question ; I was wishing 
my heart could break. 

" Oh no, no ; indeed I am no blood-relation of his." 

Mr. Chandos went on without another word. I thought he 
was despising me : would think that I had been in league with 
his enemy, Edwin Barley. I who had pretended not to know 
him ! 



MRS. FENJ^'S REVELATION. 337 

The cloth was Laid in the oak-parlour, but there were no 
lights yet. Mr. Chandos flung his whip into a corner, and 
stood in the shade of the curtain. I went uj) to him, feeling 
very hysterical. 

" Do not misjudge me, Mr. Chandos. I will tell you all, if 
you please, after dinner. I should have told you before but 
that I have felt so frightened of Mr. Edwin Barley." 

" Since when have you felt frightened ? " 

" Since I was a little girl. I had not seen him for many 
years until I saw him here at Chandos, and I was afraid to 
speak of him — afraid also that he woidd recognize me." 

" He says he can claim you. Is that an idle boast '? " 

" I don't now ; I don't understand English laws. Perhaps ho 
might, but I would a great deal rather die." 

Mr. Chandos bent towards me, a strange look of tenderness 
in his earnest eyes. I think he was going to lay his hand on 
my shoulder to assure me of his care, when at that moment 
some one passed the window, whom I took to be Edwin Barley. 
It was only the gardener — as I learned later — he had jiut on 
his coat to go home ; a short, dark man walking past, and the 
dusk was deceptive. I thought Edwin Barley had come to take 
me there and then. 

For the minute I was certainly not in my senses : terror 
alone reigned. I laid hold of Mr. Chandos in hysterical excite- 
ment, clinging to him as one clings for dear life. 

" Oh, keep me, keep me ! Do not let him take me ! Mr. 
Chandos ! I know you are angry with me and despise me ; but 
do not give me up to him ! " 

Before I had ceased speaking he had me in his arms, holding 
me to his breast. We stood there in the shade of the dark 
room, heart beating wildy against heart. 

" I wish I could give myself the right to keep you from him, 
and from every other ill," he breathed. " Do you know, Anne, 
that I love you above all else in the world ? " 

I made no answer ; but I should have liked to remain where 
I was for ever. 

" But, my darling, it can only end here as it has begun ; for 
I cannot marry. My brother, Sir Thomas, does not marry." 

Anne HcivforJ. 22 



338 ANNE HEREFORD. 

I looked at him. He saw that I would have asked why. 

" Because we ought not to do so : it would not be right. 
There are dark clouds hanging over Chandos : should they 
open, it would be to hurl down desolation and disgrace upon 
us. How can either of us, he or I, think of exposing a wife to 
encounter this ? Could I in honour do it '? " 

" It might be happier for you, if this sorrow should arrive, 
to have one with you to soothe your cares and share them." 

" And there is one who would not shrink from it," he said, 
tenderly. " Had I not seen that, Anne, I should have been as 
much knave as fool to confess to my own state of feeling. For 
some days past I have been thinking it might be better to 
speak ; that I owed as much to you ; to speak and have done 
with it. Before I knew my danger, love had stolen over me, 
and it was too late to guard against it. It has not been our 
fault that we were thrown together." 

He took some impassioned kisses from my face. I let him 
take them. I fear I did not think whether it was right or 
wrong. I'm not sure that I cared which it was : I only know 
that I felt as one in a blissful dream. 

" I have been betrayed into this, Anne," he said, releasing 
me. " I ought to beg your pardon in all humility. It is not 
v.hat I intended. Though I might just tell you of my love, I 
never thought to give you tokens of it. Will you forgive me ? " 

He held out his hand. I jDut mine into it, the silent tears 
running down my blushing face. " Do not fear a similar trans- 
gression for the future. The fleeting moment over, it is over 
for good. I would give half my remaining existence, Anne, to 
be able to marry, to make you my wife ; but it cannot be. 
Believe me, my darling, it cannot be. No, though you are my 
darling, and will be for ever." 

" Oh, look ! look ! It is from your hand ! What has 
happened ? " 

On my dress of white muslin there were two red stains. 
The straps of his hand had loosened, perhaps in the encounter 
with Mr. Edwin Barley, and it had begun to bleed again. I 
ran upstairs to put on another dress, leaving Mr. Chandos to 
attend to his hand. 



MRS. PENN'S EEVELATION. 339 

I was iu a glow of Lapj)iness ! He had Baid lie could not 
marry. What was marriage to me '? Had there been no 
impediment on his side, there might have been one on mine : a 
poor friendless young governess was no match for Mr. Chandos 
of Chandos. He loved me : that was quite sufficient for j^resent 
bliss ; and, as it seemed to me, for future. 

Mr. Chandos presided at dinner as usual, himself once more ; 
calm, collected, courteous, and gentlemanly. The servants in 
waiting could never have suspected he had been making me a 
declarati(m of love, and pressing kisses on my lii)s not many 
minutes before. 

" Did you succeed in seeing the letter at Warsall ? " I asked, 
when the servants had left again, and silence was growing too 
self-conscious for me. 

" Yes, but I don't know the handwriting. It Ljoks like a 
lady's. They let me bring the note home ; I will show it you 
presently. Talking of that — — " 

Without concluding, he rose, went to a side-table, and brought 
me a box, done up in paper. 

" There ! Don't say I forget you." 

It contained gloves ; many pairs. Beautiful French gloves 
of all colours ; some dark and useful, others delicate and rare. 
But I thought it would not be right to accei^t them, and the 
tell-tale pink flushed my cheeks. 

" Don't scruple ; they are not from me. Look at the little 
note." 

I took it out of the box. It contained a few words pencilled 
by Lady Chandos, asking me to wear the gloves. 

" It happened that I was gping to buy some for my mother 
to-day. When I went up to her after Black Knave was brought 
round, I told her Miss Hereford had no gloves left, and she 
asked me to bring you some. There, Miss Hereford." 

I supposed I might wear them now, and began jnitting on 
a glove to cover my confusion. Mr. Chandos ate his grapes 
mth his usual equanimity. 

" Six-and-a-half. How did you guess my size ? " 

" By your hand." 

As if jealous of the interview — it seemed so to me at tho 



340 ANNE HEREFORD. 

moment — Hill came in to break it. Lady Cliandos wanted him 
in the west wing. 

He went up at once. I sat thinking of all that had occurred. 
Would Mr. Edwin Barley indeed claim me ? Could he do so ? 
Would the law allow him ? I shivered at the thought. 

The tea waited on the table when he came down again. It 
seems very monotonous, I feel sure, to be alluding so continually 
to the meals, but you see they were the chief times when I was 
alone with Mr. Chandos ; so I can only crave pardon for 
doing so. 

Mr. Chandos's countenance wore a sad and gloomy look : but 
that was nothing unusual after his visits to the west wing. I 
wondered very much that he did not have the shutters closed 
after what had taken i)lace the j)revious night ; but there they 
were open, and nothing between the room and the window but 
the thin lace curtains. The silk curtains, at the extreme 
corners of the windows, were not made to draw. Long after- 
wards I found that he had the shutters left oj^en because I was 
there. As the habit had been to leave them open in the past, 
he did not choose to alter it now : people inclined to be 
censorious, might have remarked upon it. That aspect of the 
affair never occurred to me. 

" What led to the scene with that man to-day ? " he abrujitly 
asked, after taking a cup of tea in silence. " How came you to 
meet him ? " 

I briefly explained. Mentioning also that I had seen Mrs. 
Penn with him, and what she said to me of his inquiries. And 
I told him of Mr. Edwin Barley's questions about the visit of 
the police-officers. 

" If Mrs. Penn is to make an acquaintance of Mr. Edwin 
Barley, she cannot remain at Chandos," he coldly remarked. 
" Have you finished tea ? Then it shall go away." 

He rose to ring the bell, did not resume his seat again, but 
stood witli his back to the fire, and watched the servants remove 
the tilings. I got my work about as usual. 

' Now then, Anne, I claim your promise. What are you t^ 
Edwin Barley ? and what is he to you ? " 

A moment's pause. But I had made my mind up to tell him 



MRS. PENN'S REVELATION. 341 

all, and would not flinch now the moment had come. Putting 
down the work, I sat with my hands cLasped on my hap, 

" Did you know tliat there was once a Mrs, Edwin Barley ? " 

" Unfortunately, I had too good cause to know it," 

I thought the answer a strange one, but went on. 

" She was a Carew. Miss Selina Carew of Keppe-Carcw," 

" I know she was," 

" And my aunt," 

" Your aunt ! " he repeated, looking at me strangely. " Why, 
whose daughter are you ? " 

" My father was Colonel Hereford, A brave officer and 
gentleman," 

" Thomas Hereford ? Of the — th ? " 

" Yes," 

" And your mother ? " 

" My mother was Miss Carew of Keppe-Carcw. She was a 
good deal older than Selina, They were sisters," 

The information appeared to surprise him beyond expression. 
He sat down in front of me, his eyes fixed earnestly on my face. 

" The daughter of Colonel Hereford and of Miss Carew of 
Keppe-Carew ! And we have been thinking of you as only a 
governess ! Je vous en fais mes compliments empresses, Miss 
Hereford ! You are of better fiimily than ours." 

" That does me no good. I have still to be a governess." 

" Does it not, young lady ? Well — about Mrs. Edwin Barley. 
Did you see much of her ? " 

" Not much until the last. I was there when she died," 

" There ! At Edwin Barley's ! She died at his place near 
Hallam." 

" Yes," And I gave him the outline of what had taken mo 
there : to spend the short interval between mamma's death and 
my being placed at school, 

" You must have heard of a— a tragedy " — he spoke the words 
in a hesitating, unwilling manner — " that occurred there about 
the same time, A young man, a ward of Edwin Barley's, died," 

"Philip King, Yes; he was killed, I saw it done, Mr. 
Chandos," 

« Saw what done ? " 



342 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Saw Philip King miirclerecl. That is not a nice worcl to 
repeat, but it is what they all called it at the time. I was in 
the wood. I saw the shot strike him, and watched him fall." 

" Why, what a strange girl you are ! " Mr. Chandos exclaimed, 
after a pause of astonishment. " What else have you seen ? " 

" Nothing like that. Nothing half so dreadful. I trust I 
never shall." 

" I trust not, either. Anne," he continued, dropping his voice 
to a low, solemn tone, " you say you saw that shot strike him. 
Who fired it?" 

" It was said to be — but perhaps I ought not to mention the 
name even to you, Mr. Chandos," I broke off. " Mrs. Hemson 
cautioned me never to repeat it under any circumstances." 

" Who is Mrs. Hemson ? " 

" She was also once a Miss Carew of Keppe-Carew. Her 
father was John Carew; and my grandfather, Hubert Carew, 
succeeded him. She married Mr. Hemson ; he was in trade, 
and the Carews did not like it : but oh, he is one of the noblest 
gentlemen in mind and manners." 

" As I have heard my mother say. Go on, Anne." 

" After Mrs. Edwin Barley died, I was sent to Mrs. Hemson's 
at Dashleigh ; she had undertaken the charge of fixing on a 
school for me. It was she who told me not to mention the 
name." 

" You may mention it to me. Was it George Heneage ? " 

" You know it, then, Mr. Chandos ! " 

" I know so much — as the public in general knew. They 
said it was George Heneage ; a gentleman staying there at the 
time. Did you see who it was fired the shot ? Pray answer me." 

" I did not see it fired : but I think it was George Heneage. 
Quite at first I doubted, because— but never mind that. I did 
not doubt afterwards, and I think it was certainly George 
Heneage." 

" ' Never mind ' will not do for me, Anne. I mind it all ; 
have too much cause to do so ; and from me you must conceal 
nothing. Why did you at first doubt that it was George 
Heneage ? " 

" I saw Mr. Edwin Barley coming from the direction where 



MRS. PENN'S REVELATION. 343 

tte shot was fired, witli his gun in his hand, and I wondered at 
the moment wiiothcr he had done it. I used to feel afraid of 
him ; I did not like him ; and he disliked George Heneage." 

" Did you hear or know the cause of his dislike to George 
Heneage ? " 

" I gathered it," I answered, feeling my face flush. 

" Mrs. Edwin Barley was beautiful, was she not ? " he asked, 
after a pause. 

" Very beautiful." 

" Are you anything like her ? " 

I could not help laughing. I like Selina ! 

" Not one bit. She had a very fair, piquante face, light and 
careless, with blue eyes and a great deal of light curling hair," 

" Do you remember George Heneage ? " he continued, stoop- 
ing for something as he asked the question. 

" No ; not his face. When I try to recall it, it always seems 
to slip from me. I remember thinking him good-looking. He 
was very tall. Charlotte Delves called him a scarecrow ; but 
I thought she disliked him because Mr. Edwin Barley did so." 

" Who was Charlotte Delves ? " 

" She lived there. She was distantly related to Mr. Edwin 
Barley. Jemima — one of the maids — once said that Charlotte 
Delves liked Mr. Edwin Barley too well to be just." 

" I remember hearing of her — of some relation, at least, who 
was in the house at the time," he observed, in a dreamy sort of 
tone. " Delves ? perhaps that was the name. A pleasant- 
mannered, lady-like woman — as described to me." 

" I don't recollect much about her, or what she was like, 
except that she was very kind to me after my aunt Selina's 
death. It is a good while ago, and I was only a little girl." 

"Ay. But now, Anne, 1 want you to relate to me all the 
particulars of that bygone miserable tragedy : anything and 
everything that you may remember as connected with it. Under- 
stand me : it is not curiosity that prompts me to ask it, Wei'e 
I to consult my own wishes, I would bury the whole in a stream 
of Lethe ; every word sjiokon of it is to me so much agony. 
Nevertheless, you may do me a service if you will relate what 
you know of it." 



344 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" I would tell you willingly, Mr. Cliandos. But — I fear — I 
— sliould have to seem to throw blame on Selina." 

" You cannot throw so much blame on her as has already 
been thrown on her to me. Perhaps your account may tend to 
remove the impression it left on my mind." 

I began at the beginning, and told him all, as far as I could 
recollect, giving my childish impressions of things. I told him 
also my own early history. When I came to the details of 
Philip King's death, Mr. Chandos sat with his elbow on the 
arm of the chair, his face turned from me and buried in his 
hand. 

" You saw George Heneage just afterwards ? " he remarked. 

" Yes. He was hiding in the wood, trembling all over, and 
his face was very white." 

" Had he the look of a guilty man ? " 

" I think he had. Had he not been guilty, why should he 
not have come openly forward to help Philip King ? " 

" True. Did Mrs. Edwin Barley think him guilty ? " 

" Not at first. I don't know what she might have done later. 
Mr. Edwin Barley did." 

" As he took care to let the world know. Go on with your 
narrative, Anne. I ought not to have interrupted it." 

I went on to the end. Mr. Chandos heard me without com- 
ment ; and remained so long silent that I thought he was never 
going to speak again. 

" Has George Heneage ever been heard of, do you happen to 
know, Mr. Chandos?" 

" It is said not." 

" Then I think he must be dead. Or perhaps he has kei)t 
out of the country. Mr. Edwin Barley said at the time that he 
would bring him to justice, were it years and years to come." 

" Mr. Edwin Barley was excessively bitter against him. He, 
Barley, succeeded to Philip King's fine property. Were I on 
the jviry when George Heneage was brought to trial, I should 
require strong proof — stronger than Mr. Edwin Barley's word 
— ere I convicted him." 

" Mr. Edwin Barley did not shoot him," I said, gravely. 

" I do not accuse him ; I feel sure he did not. But there 



MRS. PENN'S REVELATION. 345 

■were one or two private doubts entertained upon tlie matter ; I 
can tell you that, Anne. He was suspiciously eager in liis 
accusations of George Heneage ! " 

" Think of his provocation ! Selina and George Heneage had 
both lived only to provoke him ; and people said he was really 
attached to Philip King." 

" Good arguments, Anne. I believe I am unjust in all that 
relates to Edwin Barley." 

" But why should you be so," Mr. Chandos ? Don't you 
think it must have been George Heneage who committed the 
murder ? " 

" I beg you will not use that ugly word, Anne. My full and 
firm belief is that it was an accident — nothing more." 

" Then why should George Heneage stay away ? " 

" A natural question. Of course we cannot answer for what 
George Heneage does or does not do. Were he to appear in 
England, Mr. Edwin Barley would instantly cause him to be 
apprehended ; there's no doubt of that ; innocent or guilty, he 
must stand his trial ; and to some men that ordeal would be 
just as bad as conviction. Besides, he might not be able to 
prove that it was only an accident ; I think he would not be ; 
and, failing that proof, he would be condemned. In saying 
this, I am not seeking to defend George Heneage." 

" Did you ever see George Heneage, Mr. Chandos ? " 

" Yes." 

" Perhaps you knew him ? " 

He made no reply ; but rose from his seat and began to pace 
the room. 

" About that will of Mrs. Edwin Barley's, Anne ? " he jiro- 
sently asked. " Did her husband destroy it ? " 

If I had thought so as a child, and thought so still, it was 
not possible for me to say it ; but Mr. Chandos had acquired a 
habit of reading what I hesitated to speak. 

" I see ; you think it better not to avow dangerous doctrines." 

" Indeed, I should be grieved to know that he really took it. 
Its disappearance was very strange." 

" You don't think he took it ; you only had an instinct that 
way. But, Anne, your instincts are generally true ones. My, 



346 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Barley lias the character of being a grasping man, loving money 
better than anything else in the world, except bringing George 
Heneage to punishment. He could not bear that the little 
trifle should go from him ; compared with his large j)roperty, it 
was only as a drop of water to the ocean. He did not want it, 
you did ; you have but little." 

" I have nothing, nothing but what I earn. Mamma sank for 
my education the trifle of money she had saved." 

" But — the daughter of Colonel Hereford ought to enjoy a 
pension," he debated, stopping in his walk. 

" Papa sold out before his death." 

" Oh, I see," and he resumed his walk. 

" Mr. Chandos, may I ask you a question ? " 

" You know you may. I will answer it if I can." 

" What has Mr. Edwin Barley to do with you '? Why should 
he be your enemy ? " 

" That is what I cannot answer," he quickly rejoined. " He 
is an implacable enemy to me and my family ; and likely ever 
to remain so. I cannot divest myself of the idea that he was 
the author of that visit we were favoured with last night by the 
police. Between the two— him and his wife— we have suffered 
enough. I should be puzzled to say which of them did us most 
harm, Miss Hereford." 

Miss Hereford ! And I was the Barley's relative ! My 
heart felt sick and faint within me. 

" Well, what now ? " asked Mr. (Jhandos, who hapj3ened to be 
looking, and he came up and stood close before me. 

" Nothing, sir, nothing ; only 1 cannot help Selina's having 
been my aunt. Perhaps you will never care to be kind to me 
again." 

His eyes, so grave before, quite danced with their pleasant 
light. 

" Anne, the only kind thought I have had of your aunt Selina 
is since I knew she was of your kindred. If " 

I rose with a vivid blush. Inside the door, having come in 
so quietly as to be unheard, stood Mrs. Penn. Mr Chandos 
turned, a liaughty frown on his brow. 

" I beg your pardon, madam ; do you want anything ? " 



MRS. PENNVS REVELATION. 347 

" I beg yoTxrR, sir, for my intrusion," slio answered, civilly. 
" I only had a little errand with Miss Hereford. Will you " — 
turning to me — " kindly let me have my embroidery scissors, if 
you have done with them ? " 

I took them from my basket and gave them to her. " Thank 
you, Mrs. Penu, for the loan of them. They cut my strip of 
work beautifully." 

"It is a chilly evening," she remarked, moving to dejiart. 
•' I fancy we are going to have rain." 

Mr. Ohandos opened the door for her, and when she left 
slipped the bolt. Ere he was half-way across the room on his 
return, however, he went back and undid it, some reflection 
appearing to strike him. His brow was stern and displeased. 

" That Mrs. Penn is a curious woman ! " 

" Curious ! In what way, sir ? Do you mean her hair ? " 

He slightly laughed. "I spoke the word literally, Anne. 
She came in, I fancy, just to see what was going on, the scissors 
being the excuse." 

" She comidains of it being dull in the east wing. I think 
she is glad to escaj^e from it for a moment when she can do so." 

" Ay, no doubt ; we must not judge her harshly. She is a 
contrast to Mrs. Freeman, who never put herself into any one's 
way. I wish I could discover the author of these losses in the 
house," he continued, passing to another subject. " Had it been 
alone the looking into letters or stealing them, I might have 
susj)ected Edwin Barley. That is, that some one was at work 
for him here. That he would like to get my private memoranda 
into his fingers, and peep at my letters, I know ; but he could 
have no possible motive for causing lace and money to be stolen." 

My head was full of Lizzy Dene, and I thought the time had 
come for me to speak. Ah, what would I not tell him in the 
bond of confidence that seemed to be established between us. 

" But, Mr. Chandos — suppose, for argument's sake — that he 
has an agent in the house ; suppose that it is a woman, that 
agent may be transacting a little business on her own account 
whilst she does his." 

Mr. Chandos came and stood before me. "Have you a 
motive in saying this ? " 



348 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Yes. I tliink, I clo tliink, if tliere is one, tliat it is Lizzy- 
Dene." 

Of course, liaving said so much, I told all. Of the interview 
that some one (I suspected Lizzy Dene) had held with Edwin 
Barley in the grounds ; the chance meeting they had held that 
afternoon. Mr. Chandos was terribly displeased, but still he 
could not — I saw it — be brought to believe that it was Dene. 

" You have great faith in her, Mr. Chandos ? " 

" I have, because I believe Lizzy Dene to be true and honest. 
I do not think her capable of acting as a spy, or in any other 
false part. She is an inveterate gossip ; she is superstitious, and 
looks after ghosts ; but I believe her to be faithful to the back- 
bone." 

It was useless to contend : he had his opinion, I had mine. 
To look at Lizzy's face, to listen to her voice, I should have 
thought her honest too ; but I could not close my eyes to facts 
and circumstances. Mr. Chandos rang for Hill. 

" I want to say a word to Lizzy Dene, Hill ; incidentally, you 
understand. Can you contrive to send her here on some osten- 
sible errand ? " 

Hill nodded her head and withdrew. Presently Lizzy Dene 
came in with a knock and a curtsy ; she went to the sideboard 
and began looking in it for something that appeared difficult to 
find. Mr. Chandos, standing with his back to the fire, suddenly 
accosted her ; her head was nearly inside one of the sideboard 
cupboards. 

" How long have you known Mr. Edwin Barley, Lizzy ? " 

" Known who, sir ? " she returned, standing up and looking 
round at him. 

" Mr. Edwin Barley." 

" I don't know him at all, sir," she replied, after a minute's 
pause, given apparently to siu-prise and consideration. " Not 
but what I seem to have heard that name — lately, too." 

" He is the new tenant at the house outside the gates." 

" Dear ! yes, to be sure ! Two of the men were talking of 
him one day ; that was the name, for I remember I said it put 
me in mind of the fields. I have seen him once or twice, sir ; 
a. short, dark man," 



^IRS. PEXN'S REVELATION. 349 

" Where did you first see him ? " 

"It was coming home from church oue Suuday, sir. Wc 
were crossiug the road to the gates, me and Robiu and Harriet, 
when I noticed a swarthy gentleman standing stock-still and 
staring at us. ' I hope he'll know us again,' said I ; ' he's ugly 
enough.' ' Hush ! ' says Eobin, ' that's master's new tenant at 
the house there ! ' " 

" Have you spoken to him ? " inquired Mr. Chandos. 

" Well, sir, if you can call it speaking, I have. This evening, 
as I was coming home, I met him in one of the walks. He 
wished me good-evening, and asked how my lady was. I stood 
to answer him, saying my lady was still very ill. That's 
all, sir." 

" Has he spoken to you at any other time ? " 

" No, sir, never. I had forgotten his name, sir, till you 
mentioned it now." 

She did seem to sj)eak truthfully, and Mr. Chandos looked at 
me. Lizzy, finding nothing more was asked, turned to the 
sideboard again, and presently left the room. 

" The traitor is not Lizzy Dene, Anne ! " 

Certainly it did not appear to be so. I felt puzzled. Mr. 
Chandos continued his walk, and the clock struck ten. Putting 
up my work, I held out my hand to wish him good-night, 
.and took courage to speak the question lying so heavily on my 
heart. 

" Do you think, sir. Mi". Edwin Barley can really claim me '? " 

" I cannot tell, Anne. At any rate, he would have, I imagine, 
to make you first of all a ward in Chancery, and get himself 
appointed guardian ; and that would take time." 

" He could not come into your house and take me forcibly 
out of it '? " 

" Certainly not ; and I — acting for Lady Chandos — will take 
very good care he does not do it." 

" Good-night, sir ! " 

" It is to be ' sir ' to the end— is it ? Good-night, Anne," he 
went on, shaking me by the hand. " I wish I dare oft'er you 
a diiferent good-night from this formal one ! I wish I could 
feel justified in doing it." 



350 ANNE HEEEFORD. 

I ilou't know wliat I stammered ; sometliiug foolisli aud in- 
coherent ; and in tone, at any rate, full of my depth of love. 

" No, it may not be," he answered, very decisively. " If a 
wavering crossed my mind before, when I thought you^ — forgive 
me, Anne — an unpretending governess, as to wliether I should 
lay the good and the ill before joxi, and let you decide, it has 
passed now. The daughter of Colonel Hereford and of Miss 
( *arew of Kej)pe-Carew must not be trifled with. Good-night, 
child ! " 

The tears were very near my eyes when I entered my bed- 
room. Had Mr. Chandos cast me oif for ever ? Since that 
unlucky remark of his, that my family was better than his own, 
I know not what sweet visions had been floating in my mind. 
I teas of good descent, with a lady's breeding and education ; 
surely, if he could forgive my want of money and my having 
lived as a dependent at Mrs. Paler's, there had been no very 
great barrier between me and a younger brother of (_'handos ! 

Dwelling upon this, it startled me to see Mrs. Penn quietly 
seated in my room. She pointed to the door. 

" Shut it and bolt it. Miss Hereford. I have been waiting to 
talk to you ! " 

I shut it, but did not sliji the bolt. Where was the necessity ? 
No one ever came into my room at night — Mrs. Penn ex- 
cepted. 

" Come and sit down, and tell me why you are crying ! " 

" I am not crying. I have no reason to cry," I resentfully 
answered, vexed beyond everything. " I thought of something 
as 1 came upstairs, which brought the tears into my eyes : we 
often laugh until we cry, you knov/." 

•'Oh, indeed," said Mrs. Penn, "perhaps yours are tears of 

joy?" 

" I shoiild be so very much obliged if you could put off Avhat 
you wish to say until the morning. You don't know how 
sleepy I am." 

" I know that you can tell a parcel of fibs, you wicked child," 
she returned, in fond accents. " Anne — I shall call you so 
to-night — I have come to talk to you ; and talk I shall. I 
want to save you." 



MRS. PENN'S REVELATION. 351 

" Save me from wliat ? " 

" From tlie — what shall I call it ? — the machinations of 
Harry Chanclos." 

" Mr. Chanclos is working no machinations against me." 

" I know that he is. He has been making yon a declaration 
of love." 

The tell-tale crimson lighted u]) my face. Mrs. Pcnu con- 
tinued, taking my hand. 

" I felt uneasy, and made my scissors an excuse for coming 
to the oak-parlour. You should not have heard it from him. 
I warned you that any attachment between you and Mr. Chandoa 
could not end happily ; you cannot marry him ! " 

My nerves were co*npletely unstrung, and I burst into tears ; 
I could play a false part no longer. It was bitter enough to 
hear her confirm his own words. Mrs. Pcnn gently stroked 
my hair. 

" Child, do you know why I thus interfere between you and 
Mr. Chaudos '? I will tell you. A few years ago I became 
attached to a young girl of eighteen — a connection of mine. 
She was under my charge and under my eye ; her name, Lottie 
Penn. A stranger came, fascinating as Mr. Chandos ; and I, 
believing him to be upright and honourable, exercised little 
caution. He gained her love, just as Mr. Chandos is gaining 
yours — ■ — " 

" Mrs. Penn ! " 

" Hush ! do you think I am blind ? He gained Lottie's love ; 
and, when marriage came to be spoken of as a natm-al scf[uence, 
we found out that we had been entertaining a Jesuit in disguise. 
He could hot marry." 

« A Jesuit ? " 

" I am sj)eaking metaphorically. The man called himself a 
Protestant, if he called himself anything. I heard him say he 
Avas a Christian. Very Christian work it was to gain Lottie's 
heart, and then confess that he had gained it for no end. 
Lottie died. The blow was too sharp for her. She was a 
timid, gentle flower, and could not stand the rough blast. 
Anne, believe me, tliere is no fate so cimol in the whole catalogue 
of the world's troubles as that of misplaaed love." 



352 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Wliy could he not marry ? " I askefl, growing interested in 
the tale. 

" Ah ! why, indeed ! " she answered, curling her lips with 
mockery. " Why cannot Harry Chandos ? The cases are 
somewhat parallel. It is the i-emembrance of Lottie which 
causes me to feel this interest in you, for you put me very 
much in mind of her, and I must try to save you." 

" There is nothing to save me from ! " I answered, touched 
with her kindness, and feeling ashamed of myself not to be 
more touched with it than I was. " I am not likely to marry 
Mr. Chandos, or to be asked to marry him ! " 

" My dear, I don't think I can be deceived. There is love 
between you ! " 

" You did not finish about Lottie," I said, evading the 
question. " Why could he not marry her ? " 

" Because he had a wife living, from whom he was separated." 

" At least, Mr. Chandos has not that." 

She remained silent, only looking at me. I am not sure but 
an idea struck me that the silence was strange. I could never 
tell afterwards whether or not it so struck me then. 

" I said the cases were somewhat parallel," she slowly observed. 

" Scarcely, Mrs. Penn. Mr. Chandos at least does not deceive 
me. He says he cannot marry. His life is given up to sorrow." 

" Given up to sorrow ? He says that, does he ? Anne, I 
have half a mind to tell you the truth. What is his sorrow 
compared with that of poor Mrs. Chandos. I pity her." 

" Who is Mrs. Chandos ? " I interrupted, seizing the oppor- 
tunity to inquire on the subject that remained a puzzle, and 
thinking this kind woman might satisfy me. " They call her 
Lady Chandos's daughter-in-law, but I cannot see how she can 
be so." 

" Mrs. Chandos was once Miss Ethel Wynne." 

" But who is her husband ? " 

"Ah, you may well ask. It is curious though that you 
should do so." 

Was it the stress on the jjronoun ? — or that her face was so 
suggestive as it gazed into mine ? — or that the previous vague 
idea was growing into life ? I knew not ; I never have known. 



MRS. PENN'S IIEVELATIOX. 353 

1 ouly felt that I turned sick with an undefined douLt and dread 
as I waited for Mrs. Tcnu's answer. She was a full minute, 
looking into my whitening face, before she gave it. 

" My poor stricken lamb ! Has it never struck you who it 
might be ? " 

I put up my trembling hand as if to beat off her words. 
That unholy idea — yes, it seemed to me unholy in those first 
confused moments — was growing into a monster of fear. Mrs. 
Penn looked as if she could not suflficiently note the signs. 

" What if her husband were Harry Chandos ? 

With the strange surging in my ears— with my pulses stand- 
ing cold and still, and then coursing on to fever-heat — with 
my temples beating to pain — no wonder I could not weigh my 
words. 

" Oh, Mrs. Penn ! Do not tell it me ! " 

" Think you that you need telling, Anne ? I can add some- 
thing more. Never will Harry Chandos love again in this 
world, you or any one else, as passionately as he once loved 
Ethel Wynne." 

My senses were growing confused ; I no longer seemed to 
understand things. She went on. 

" Husband and wife live apart sometimes, although they may 
live under the same roof. She and Harry Chandos parted ; it is 
years ago now ; she used him very ill ; and I don't suppose he 
has ever so much as touched her hand since, except in the very 
commonest courtesies of everyday life: and that only when 
he could not help himself. Passion has long been over between 
them ; they are civil when they meet ; nothing more. My 
j)Oor child, you look ready to fall," 

I did fall. But not until she had left the room. I fell on 
the ground, and let my head lie there in its misery. Much that 
had been obscure before seemed to shine out clearly now ; 
things to which I had wanted a clue, appeared to be solved. I 
wished I could die, tlicre as I lay, rather than have found him 
out in deceit so despicable. 



Anne Hereford. 23 



354 ANNE HEREFORD. 

CHAPTER XXV. ' 

MISERY. 

The sun shone brightly into my room in the morning, but there 
woukl be no more sunshine for me. What a night I had 
passed ! If you have ever been deceived in the manner I had, 
you will understand it ; if not, all the writing in the world 
would fail to convey to you a tithe of the misery that was 
mine — and that would be mine for years to come. Her hus- 
band ! whilst he pretended to love me ! 

All my study would now be to avoid Mr. Chandos. Entirely 
I could not do so ; for we must meet at the daily repasts when 
he chose to sit down to them. In that I could not help myself. 
I was very silent that morning, and he was busy vsdth his 
newspapers. 

He rode out after breakfast ; to attend some county meeting, 
it v.'as said ; and returned at four o'clock. I remained in my 
own room until dinner-time ; but I had to go down then. 

He appeared inclined to be thoroughly sociable ; talked and 
laughed ; and told me of a ludicrous scene which had occurred 
at the meeting ; but I was cold and reserved, scarcely answer- 
ing him. He looked at me keenly, as if debating with himself 
what could have so changed my manner. When the servants 
had withdrawn, I left my place at table, and sat down in a low 
chair near the fire. 

" Why do you go there ? " said Mr. Chandos. " You vdW 
take some dessert ? " 

" Not this evening." 

" But why ? " 

" My head aches," 

He left the table, came up, and stood before me. " Anne, 
what is the matter with you ? " 

My breath was coming c^uickly, my heart seemed as if it 
must burst. All the jiast rose up forcibly before me ; he, a 
married man, had mocked mo with his love ; had — oL, worse 
than all ! — gained mine. It was a crying insult; and it was 



MISERY. 355 

TViinglug bitterly every sense of feeling I possessed. Anything 
else I could have borne. Mrs. Penn had hinted at some great 
crime ; words of his own had confirmed it. Had he committed 
every crime known to man, I could better have forgiven it. 
But for this deliberate deceit upon me, there could be no for- 
giveness : and there could be no cure, no comfort for my 
lacerated heart. 

" Are you angry with me for any cause ? Have I offended 
you?" 

The question imnerved me more than I was already unnerved. 
It did more, it raised all the ire of my spirit. A choice between 
two evils only seemed to be left to nie ; either to burst into 
hysterical tears, or to reproach Mr. Chandos openly. The 
latter course came first. 

" Why did yo'u deceive me, Mr, Chandos ? " 

" Deceive you ! " 

" Yes, deceive me, and wretchedly deceive me," I answered in 
my desperation ; neither caring nor quite knowing what I said. 
" How came you to speak to me at all of love, knowing ichj it 
is that you cannot marry ? " 

He bit his lip as he looked at me. "Do you know why 
it is?" 

" I do now. I did not yesterday, as you may be very sure ! " 

"It is impossible you can know it," he rejoined, in some 
agitation. 

" Mr. Chandos, I do know. Spare me from saying more. It 
is not a subject on which either you or I should enlarge." 

" And pray, Anne, who enlightened you ? " 

" That is of no consequence," I passionately answered, aroused 
more and more by his cool manner of taking the reproach. " I 
know now what the barrier is you have more than once hinted 
at, and that is quite enough." 

" You consider that barrier an insuperable one — that I ought 
not to have avowed my love ? " 

*■ I burst into hysterical tears. It was the last insult : and the 
last feather, you know, breaks the camel's back. Alas ! wo 
were at cross-purposes. 

" Torgive me, Anne," he sadly cried. " Before I remembered 



356 ANNE HEREFORD. 

that there might be dauger in your companionship ; before I 
was aware that love could ever dawn for me, it had come, and 
was filling every crevice of my heart. It is stirring within me 
now as I speak to you. My pulses are thrilling with the bliss 
of your presence; my whole being tells of the gladness of 
heaven." 

In spite of the cruel wrong ; in spite of my own bitter 
misery ; in spite of the ties to which he was bound, to hear the 
avowal of this deep tenderness, stirred with a rapture akin to 
his every fibre of my rebellious love. I know how terribly 
v/rong it must seem ; I know how worse than wrong is the con- 
fession ; but so it was. I was but human. 

" I am aware that I have acted unwisely," he pursued, his 
tones very subdued and repentant. " Still — you must not 
blame me too greatly. Circumstances are at least as much in 
fault. We were thrown together, unavoidably; I could not, 
for reasons, absent myself from home ; you were located in it. 
Of course I ought to have remembered that I was not free to 
love : but then, you see, the danger did not occur to my mind. 
If it had, I should have been cold as an icicle." 

To hear him defending himself seemed worse than all. I 
had thought if there lived one man on the face of the earth who 
was the soul of nobility, uprightness, honour, it was Harry 
Chandos. 

" It was the cruelest insult possible to be ofi'ered to me, Mr. 
Chandos." 

" What was ? " 

" What was ! Telling me of your love." 

" Anne, I told it you because — forgive my boldness ! — I saw 
that you loved me." 

Heaven help me ! Yes, it was so ; I did love him. My face 
grew hot ; I beat my foot uiwn the carpet. 

" I did the best that could be done : at least I strove to do it. 
It was my intention to lay before you the unhappy case without 
disguise, its facts and deterrent circumstances, and then to say 
--' Now marry me or reject me ! ' " 

" How can you so speak to me, sir ? Marry me ! with — with 
— that barrier ? " 



MISERY. 357 

" But that barrier may be removed." 

Oh ! I saw now, or fancied I saw, the far-off thought he was 
driving at. Staying seemed to make matters worse ; and I got 
up from my scat to leave him. 

" Your turning out to be who you are of course made the 
difficulty greater. I said so last night " 

" No, it does not," I interrupted, with an impassioned sob, 
partly of love, partly of anger. " Whether I am regarded as a 
poor governess, or the daughter of Colonel Hereford, there could 
never, never be any excuse for you." 

" Is that your final opinion ? " he asked, standing before me 
to ask the question. 

" It is, Mr. Chandos. It will never change. You ought to 
despise me if it could." 

" Forgive, forgive me. Miss Hereford ! Nothing remains for 
me now but to ask it." 

I could not forgive him ; but I was spared saying so, for Hill 
opened the parlour-door in haste. 

"Mr. Harry, will you please go up to the west wing? At 
once, sir." 

" Any change. Hill ? " 

" No, sir ; it's not that. A little trouble." 

" Oh ; Mrs. Chandos is there, I suppose ? " 

" Yes, sir." 

Need he have asked that question, have mentioned her name 
in my presence ? It struck me that it was a gratuitous insult. 
Mr. Chandos followed Hill from the room, and as soon as I 
thought he was safe within the west wing, I flew up to my own 
chamber. 

Flew up with a breaking heart : a heart that felt its need of 
solitude, of being where it could indulge its own grief unseen, 
unmolested. I was not, however, to gain my chamber ; for, at 
the entrance to the east wing stood Mrs. Penn, and she arrested 
me. 

" Come into my sitting-room," she said. " Mrs. Chandos will 
not be back for an hour. She is paying a visit to the west wing." 

" Mr. Chandos also," I replied, as indifferently as I could 
speal?. 



358 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Mr. Chandos also," she assented. " They meet there more 
frequently than the house suspects." 

" But why may they not meet ? Why is it that they live 
estranged — or appear to do so ? " 

" Sit down," she said, dramng me along the passage and into 
a small sitting-room. " Here is a warm seat by the fire. There 
is estrangement between Mr. and Mrs. Chandos, but how far it 
precisely extends I cannot tell you." 

" I did not ask you how far the estrangement extended ; I 
asked you its cause." 

" Be content with knowing what you do know, Miss Hereford, 
without inquiring into causes. The advice is oflfered you in 
kindness. I can tell you one thing, that never was more im- 
passioned love given to woman than he at one time felt for 
Mrs. Chandos." 

Ashamed I am to confess that the words caused my heart to 
chill and my face to burn. Mrs. Penn continued. 

" He says he loves you, but, compared with the passion he 
once bore for Mrs. Chandos, his love for you is as nothing. 
Contrast the pale cold beams of the moon with the burning rays 
of a tropical sun, and you have a type of that passion, and of 
this one." 

" Why do you say this to me ? Is it well ? " 

" I deem it well. I say it because I think it right that you 
should know it : were you my own child I should say more. 
You have one course only before you, my dear, a plain and 
simple one." 

" What is it ? " 

" To quit Chandos." 

" I shall not do that." 

« Not do it ? " 

" No." 

" Miss Hereford, you must. Your own good sense ought to 
show you the necessity for leaving. By this time to-morrow 
evening you must have put miles between yourself and Chandos," 
she eagerly continued, as though she had a personal interest in 
my going. Hot, angry, flushed, I resented both the words and 
the advice. 



MISERY. 359 

" Mrs. Penn, you are making too miicli of this. I tliiuk you 
have taken a wrong view of things. My heart is all right, 
thank you." 

" Is it ! " she retorted. " You cannot stay on here, his com- 
panion. You cannot, Anne Hereford." 

" I will ! Whether with him as a companion or without him 
is not of any moment — he will not eat me. But I do not quit 
Chandos until my legitimate plans call me away." 

In point of fact I had nowhere to go ; but I did not say 
that. All this, and her assumjjtion of reading my love, di'ove 
me into a perfect fit of anger. 

Mrs. Penn paused, seemingly in deliberation, and when she 
next spoke it was in a whisper. 

" Has he given you any hint of what the dark cloud is that 
hangs over Chandos ? Of the — the crime that was committed '? " 

" No." 

" It was a very fearful crime : the greatest social crime for- 
bidden in the Decalogue. When the police rode up here the 
other night, I thought they had come for him. I know Mr. 
Chandos thought so." 

" For whom ? " 

" For Mrs. Chandos's husband," she answered, in a sharp, 
irascible tone. " Why do you make mo repeat it ? " 

At least I thought she need not repeat the word " husband " 
in my ears. 

" It was murder," she continued, " if you wish to hear the 
j)lain English of it." 

" Was there a trial ? " 

" No. That has to come. Certain " — she seemed to hesitate 
— " proofs are being waited for. Poor Mrs. Chandos has not 
been quite right since : when the moon is at the change and 
full they think her worse ; but at all times it is well that she 
should be under surveillance. That is v/hy I am here." 

I did not sj)eak ; I was thinking. No doubt it was all true. 

"Poor thing! the blow was enough to turn her brain," 
oljserved Mrs. Penn, musingly. " But I fancy she could never 
have been of strong intellect. A light, frivolous, butterfly giid, 
her only recommendation her beauty and soft manner." 



360 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" What you told me before was, that she had used Mr, 
Chandos ill." 

" And so she did ; very ill. But that was altogether a 
diflferent matter, quite unconnected with what followed." 

" How did you become acquainted with these things, Mrs. 
Penn ? " 

" In a perfectly legitimate manner. Believe me, Anne, this 
house is no proper home for you ; Harry Chandos is an unfit 
companion. Quit both to-morrow." 

The pertinacity vexed me almost beyond bearing. " I will 
think of it," I said, sharply ; and getting up quickly made my 
escape from the room and the east wing. 

Not any too soon. To go to the east wing was against the 
law, and as I turned into my own room, Mrs. Chandos was 
coming down the gallery, Mr. Chandos by her side. 

" When will you get it for me, Harry ? " she was saying as 
they passed my door. 

" Shortly, I hope. The booksellers here may have to send to 
London for it, but I'll see that you have it as soon as possible." 

He held open the door of the east wing for her to enter, and 
then took his way downstairs. I followed presently. Tea 
would be waiting and I was expected to preside at it. How 
could I absent myself from the routine of the house and the 
oak-parlour — I, who was only there on sufferance, an interloper ? 
Were the circumstances that had passed such as I — a lady 
born, and reared to goodness and modesty and all rightful 
instincts — ought to make a commotion over ? No. And I felt 
as if I could bite my tongue for having said what I did to Mr. 
Chandos just now. Henceforth, I would hold on my course in 
calm self-respect ; meeting him civilly, forgetting, and be- 
lieving that he forgot anything undesirable that had passed. 
As to the " crime " spoken of by Mrs. Penn — well, I thought it 
could not be : crime of any sort seemed so entirely incompatible 
with Mr. Chandos. 

And my love ? I could only resolve to beat it down, down, 
whenever it rose in my heart. Others had suffered it, so must I. 

Ho did not appear at tea. I drank mine, and Joseph came 
for the things. Ah, what passion is like imto love ! None can 



MISERY. ;3G1 

control it. I had resolved to put it away from mo, and that 
Avhole evening it was u2)pcrmost in my thonglits ! Fifty times 
I caught myself yearning for his presence, and saying to myself 
that life was a blank without him. Very shortly after taking 
away the tea-tray, Joseph came in again. 

" I am going to close the shutters, miss." 

" Very well. Who ordered it to be done ? " 

" The master." 

" The master " meant Mr. Chandos. As Josej)h put aside 
the curtains to get to the shutters, I looked out. Pacing the 
lawn in the moonlight, his arms folded and his head bent, was 
Mr. Chandos ; pacing it as one in pain. And yet he had thought 
of me in the midst of it ; of my possible timidity, and desired 
that the shutters should be closed. 

It was nearly ten o'clock when he came into the parlour for 
some papers. I concluded he M^as going to his own sitting- 
room, 

" Good-night ! " he said, holding out his hand as usual. 

Should I take it ? A momentary debate with myself, and 
then I shook hands coldly with him. Had I not decided to let 
the past be as though it had never been ? And all the display 
of resentment possible would not turn bad into good. 

Days went on : days of an unsatisfactory life. Dr. Laken 
came over, and stayed two of them. Of Mr, Chandos I saw 
little : he was out and about, and more than usual in the west 
Aving. I seemed estranged from every one. Mrs. Penn I 
shunned ; Mr. Chandos was courteous to me, but nothing more ; 
and I had never been intimate with any one else in the house. 

And now I resolved to leave. It would not look now as 
though I hurried away in anger, or because I feared my own 
love. Heaven knows I wished to do right, whatever it cost 
me ; and reason pointed out that to remain longer was not only 
inexpedient but might be so looked upon. The life for me 
was beginning to be intolerable. He was with me at times, 
the very fact of his presence feeding the love that held i;)ossession 
of me ; and the image of Mrs. Chandos U2)stairs began to haunt 
me as a spectre. It was not possible any longer to deceive 
myself with fine reisohitions ; my eyes were opened to the fact 



362 ANNE HEREFORD. 

that I could not begin to forget liim or to love liim less as long 
as I stayed at Chandos. 

I wrote to Madame de Mellissie, telling lier tliat I felt obliged 
to cancel my engagement with her, and should leave Chandos. 
Then I wrote to the Misses Barlieu, asking them to receive me 
whilst I looked out for another situation, and begging them 
not to refuse me on the score of the fever : I was not afraid of 
it ; and I need not go near the infirmary. But I truly hoped 
and expected it had by that time passed away. 

It was a fine afternoon, and a fancy came over me to take the 
letters to the village post-ofiice instead of leaving them on the 
hall-table, so I put on my things. In going out at the portico 
I met Mrs. Penn. 

" Do you know that you are looking ill — that this struggle 
is telling upon you ? " she abruj)tly exclaimed, but in tones full 
of kindness. " Why don't you make an effort, and quit it ? " 

"The eff'ort is made," I answered, half in anger, half in 
despair, as I held up the letters in my hand, " Here is the 
announcement to those who will, I hope, receive me. I must 
await the answer, and then I bid adieu to Chandos." 

*' My dear, you have done well," she answered, as she passed 
into the house, and I out of the portico. 

Leaning against the wall, on the far side, was Mr. Chandos, 
who must have heard what had been said. That she was un- 
conscious of his vicinity, I was certain, and, for myself, I 
started when I saw him. He said something, but I made as if 
I did not hear, and went quickly on. 

The post-office was farther than I thought. I picked a few 
ferns, and lingered on my road in miserable musing. By the 
time I turned homeward again, it had grown dusk. There was 
a lane near to Chandos, which led to a small entrance-gate at 
an obscure part of the grounds : it was called the laurel-gate, 
because many laurels grew near it. By taking this way I 
should cut off a good deal of the road, and down the lane I 
turned. Very much to my surprise, I came by-and-by to a 
cottage. A cottage I had never seen before ; and was very 
sorry to see it now, for it proved to me that I had turned down 
the wrong lano. 



MISERY. 3G3 

It was tlie waste of time that vexed me ; but all I could do 
was to retrace my stejis back to the right lauc. It was almost 
dark night when I at length reached the laurel- gate ; Bome 
of tlie stars were beginning to shine. 

The gate was unlatched, as if the last person who passed 
through had omitted to close it. A narrow path led to other 
narrow paths, which branched off through the trees ; I hesitated 
which to take, not being certain which would lead me soonest 
to the house ; and as I stood thinking, a dark form came follow- 
ing me down the lane. It was Mr. Edwin Barley's. 

The darkness of the night, the superstition attaching to the 
place, the proximity of the man I so dreaded, brought sufficient 
terror AAdth them. He might be coming to seize me and claim 
me ! Fear lent me wings. Flying up a path at hazard, I never 
ceased until I was in the broad walk, and close — it was rather 
curious that it should be so — to Mr. Chandos. He was coming 
in from an errand to the lodge. 

With a sense of protection, I rested my hand on his arm. 
All considerations were merged in the moment's terror. I forgot 
his great offence ; 1 forgot my own self-esteem : standing there, 
he appeared to me only as a protector, one in whom I might 
find safety and shelter. 

" Oh, Mr. Chandos ! In mercy take care of me ! " 

" What has alarmed you ? " he asked, in tones a great deal 
too full of tenderness. 

My only answer was to draw back amidst the side trees, that 
I might be hidden from Edwin Barley. Mr. Chandos came 
and stood there also. 

" What is itj Anne ? The ghost ? Or Edwin Barley again ? " 
' My senses were in a degree returning to me, and I told him 
what had occurred ; turning my head to listen still. 

" He will not follow you here. As to the lane, usage has 
made it public property, and he has a right to walk in it if he 
chooses." 

I turned to the house. He quietly put my arm within his. 
" Suffer it to be so for an instant, Anne ; you are trembling 
still." 

And so wc went on thus, 



3G4 ANNE HEREFOED. 

" What was it I heard you say to Mrs. Ponn about leaving 
Chandos ? " 

" I think the time has come for me to leave it. If the Miss 
Barlieus can receive me, I shall go to them. I have written to 
ask." 

" That's the letter you have been so far to post ! Were you 
afraid I should intercept it ?— as mine was intercepted ? " 

" Not that. I thought the walk would be pleasant." 

" Eather too late a one, nevertheless ! " 

I did not tell him that I had wasted my time in it, picking 
ferns, thinking, and finally losing my way. " What's this ? " 
said Mr. Chandos. 

He alluded to the handful of ferns I carried, and without 
ceremony took one of the best sprays and put it in his coat " as 
a keepsake." 

" If you are to leave, Anne, I must have something to remind 
me of you ! " 

There was a light sound in his voice, which seemed to say 
he treated the idea of my leaving as a jest ; as if he knew I 
shoidd not go. 

" I shall leave, Mr. Chandos ! " 

" Not just yet, at any rate. Madame de Mellissie left you 
with us, and to her only can we resign you ! " 

" I have written to Madame de Mellissie also, telling her I 
now take ray plans upon myself." 

" Oh, been posting that letter also, I suppose ! Go you must 
not, Anne ; I cannot part wdth you." 

Every right feeling within me rose in rebellion against the 
avowal, and I strove to withdraw my arm, but my strength was 
as nothing in his firm grasj). 

" I cannot part with you, I say ; it would be like parting with 
life. These last few days — when we have been living in 
estrangement — have sufficed to show me what it would be were 
you to be away entirely. And so " 

" But you know you ought not to say this to me, Mr. 
Chandos ! " I interrujited, sjieaking jiassionately through my 
blinding tears. " It is unworthy of you. What have I done 
that you should so insult me ? " 



MISERY. 3G5 

" Listen to iiic fur a minute, Anne, I Lave been weighing 
tilings §ftluily and disi)assionately ; it has been my employment 
since the night of the explanation, when you told me you had 
become cognizant of deterring circumstances. I have en- 
deavoured to judge unselfishly, as though the interest lay with 
another — not with myself; and I confess I cannot see any good 
reason why you should not become my wife. I mean, of course, 
later ; when difficulties that exist now shall be removed from 
my path." 

It was strangely puzzling to hear him speak in this manner, 
I hxid always deemed him to be of a most honourable nature, 
one to whom the bare allusion of anything not good and perfect 
and upright, would be distasteful. Before I knew of existing 
circumstances, it had been bad enough to sjieak to me of love ; 
but now — • — 

Whether he had taken my silence for acquiescence I know 
not ; I suppose there can be no doubt of it ; but he suddenly 
bent his head and left some kisses on my face. Was he insane, 
or only a bad man ? 

"I could not help it," he hastily murmured in agitation. 
" I know it is wrong and foolish, but a man has not always his 
actions under cold control. Forgive me, Anne ! Stay here to 
gladden me : and hope, with me, that things Avill work round 
for us. I should not bid you do so without good reason." 

A variety of emotions nearly choked me. His words told 
nj)on me more than his kisses. How could things work round 
so that he might be free, except by one event, the death of his 
wife ? — and she was young and healthy ! How dared he during 
this, her lifetime, urge me to remain there to gladden him ? 
But for the strongest control, I should have burst into hysterical 
tears, born of indignation and excitement ; and little recked I 
what I said in my anger, as I wrenched my arm away from him, 

" Things work round, Mr. Chandos ! Are your thoughts 
glancing to a second murder ? " 

I borrowed the word from Mrs, Penn's mysterious com- 
munication — which I had never believed. It was very bad of 
me to saj- it ; I know it only too well ; but in such moments one 
does not wait to choose words. 



3G6 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Anne, you miglit have spared me that reproach," lie rejoined, 
in a subdued tone of pain. 

" How have you spared me ? " 

" It may end brightly yet ; it may indeed. What's that ? " 

A riLstling amidst the dense shrubs on the right caused the 
question. Possibly with an idea that it might be Edwin Barley, 
Mr. Chandos quitted me to look. I darted across the road, and 
phmged into the trees, intending to go on by a by-path, and 
so escape him. Suddenly I came upon Lizzy Dene, talking to 
a man. She started back, with a faint cry. 

" I am going right for the house, am I not, Lizzy ? " 

" Quite so, miss. Take the path on the right when you come 
to the weeping elm." 

I had nearly gained the tree, when Lizzy Dene came uj) with 
me. The woman seemed to be in agitation as great as mine. 

" Miss," she began, " will you do me a favour, and not mention 
who you saw me talking to ? " 

" I should be clever to mention it, Lizzy. I don't know him." 

" But, please miss, not to say you saw me talking to any one. 
The young man is not a sweetheart, I assure you ; he is a rela- 
tion ; but those servants are dreadul scandal-mongers." 

" You need not fear ; it is no aftair of mine. And I am not 
in the habit of carrying tales to servants." 

She continued to walk a little behind me. It seemed I was 
to have nothing but encounters. There, on a garden-chair, as 
we turned on to the lawn, sat Mrs. Penn. 

" I am sitting here to recover breath," she said, in answer to 
my exclamation. " It has been taken away by surprise. I 
don't quite know whether I am awake or dreaming." 

" Have you seen the ghost, ma'am ? " asked Lizzy, breathlessly, 
putting her own comment on the words. 

" Well, I don't know ; I should just as soon have expected to 
see one as Lady Chandos. She was in the Pino Walk." 

" Impossible, Mrs. Penn," I exclaimed. 

" Impossible or possible. Miss Hereford, Lady Chandos it 
was," she answered, resolutely. " I can tell you I rubbed my 
eyes when I caught sight of her, believing they must see things 
that were not. She wore a black silk cloak, and had a black 



MISERY. 3G7 

hood over lier head. It was certainly Lady Chandos ; and she 
seemed to be walking to take the air." 

To hear that any lady, confined to her bed, was si;ddenly 
walking abroad in a damp, dark night to take the air, was in- 
conceivable. It was altogether so to Lizzy Dene. Her eyes 
grew round with wonder as they were turned on Mrs. Penn. 

" Then I say with miss hero that it's just impossible. My 
lady's no more caj)able of walking out, ma'am, than " 

" I tell you I saw her," conclusively interrupted Mrs. Penn. 
" It was twenty minutes ago, just before it grew qiiite dark. I 
came and sat down here, waiting for her to pass me : which she 
has not done. But I suppose there are other j^aths by which 
she could gain the house. Lizzy, how obstinate you look 
over it ! " 

" And enough to make me, ma'am ; when I know that my 
lady it could not be." 

" Do you see much of her ? " asked Mrs. Penn. 

" Me ! Neither me nor nobody else, ma'am. If ever Hill 
calls me to help with a room in the west wing, my lady has 
first been moved out of it. Since her illness. Hill does the work 
there herself. No, no ; it never was my lady. Unless— unless 
— oh, goodness grant it may not be !— unless she's dead ! " 

" Why, what does the girl mean ? " cried Mrs. Penn, tartly. 

Lizzy Dene had suddenly flown into one of her rather 
frequent phases of superstition, and began to explain with a 
shiver. 

" It is just this," she whispered, glancing timidly over her 
shoulder. " Hill was in some distress at mid-day ; we servants 
asked her v/hat was the matter, and she said my lady was worse ; 
as ill as she could be. Now, it is well known, in the moment of 
death people have appeared to othei-s at a distance. I think 
my lady must have died, and it was her spirit that Mrs. Penn 
has just seen in the Pine Walk. Oh ! ah ! oh ! " 

Lizzy Dene wound up with three shrieks. In some curiosity 
—to say the least of it — we crossed the lawn. It icas curious 
that Lady Chandos, if worse, should be abroad. Hickens was 
at the hall-door, looking out probably for me. It was past 
dinner-time. 



368 ANNE Hereford. 

" How is Lady Chautlos ? " I impulsively asked. 

" I have uot tliouglit to inquire this evening, miss. I suppose 
mueh as usual." 

" Isn't she dead ? " put in Lizzy. 

" Dead ! " he echoed, staring at the girl. " Anyway, there's 
a basin of arrowroot just gone iip for her, and I never heard 
that dead people wanted anything to eat. What crotchet have 
you in your head now, Lizzy Dene ? " 

I think we all looked a little foolish. Mrs. Penn laughed as 
she ran in ; Lizzy Dene went round to the servants' entrance. 

" Hickens," I said, in a low tone, passing him to go upstairs, 
" I have a headache, and shall not take any dinner. Perhaps 
Harriet will kindly light a fire in my room, and bring me up 
some tea." 

For I had caught a glimpse of Mr. Chandos and dinner both 
waiting for me in the oak-parlour. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

GEITING INTO THE WEST WING. 



Sitting by the fire in the pretty bedroom with the candles on 
the table, and the chintz curtains drawn before the window, 
shutting out the Pine Walk and any unearthly sight that might 
be in it, I thought and resolved. To remain at Chandos with 
its ostensible master in his present mood was almost an im- 
possibility ; and I began to think I might leave it without wait- 
ing for an answer from Miss Barlieu. The chief difiiculty would 
be getting away ; the actual departure ; for Mr, Chandos was 
certain to oppose it. Another difiiculty was money. 

It struck me that the only feasible plan would be to see Lady 
Chandos, I would tell her that I must go, not mentioning the 
reason ; ask her to sanction it, and to lend me sufficient money 
to take me to Nulle. I did uot see that I could leave without 
seeing her ; certainly not without making her acquainted with 
the fact, and thanking her for her hospitality and kindness. 
Heroines of romance might take flight from dwellings by night ; 



GETTING INTO THE WEST WING. 369 

but I was nothing of the sort ; only a rational girl of sober, 
everyday life, and I must aet accordingly. 

"Do you happen to know how Lady Chandos is to-night, 
Harriet ? " I asked, when the maid came in to inquire whether 
I wanted anything more. 

" Her ladyship's a trifle better, miss. I have just heard Hill 
say so." 

Harriet left the room ; and I sat thinking as before. That 
seeing Lady Chandos could only be accomplished by stratagem 
I knew, for Hill was a very dragon in guarding that west wing. 
If it was really Lady Chandos who had been pacing the grounds 
— and Mrs. Penn was positive in her assertion and belief — she 
must undoubtedly be well enough to speak to me. It was only 
a few words I had to say to her ; a few minutes that I should 
detain her. " Circumstances have called me away, but I could 
not leave without personally acquainting you, madam, and 
thanking you for your hospitality and kindness." Something 
to that effect : and then I would borrow the money — about 
forty or fifty francs ; which Miss Barlieu would give me to 
remit, as soon as I reached Nulle. If Lady Chandos sanctioned 
my departure, Mr. Chandos could not put forth any plea to 
detain me. 

Never were plans better laid than mine — as I thought. 
Rehearsing them over and over again in my mind after I lay 
in bed,' the usual sleeplessness followed. I tossed and turned 
from side to side ; I counted, I repeated verses ; all in vain. 
Sleep had gone from me, and I heard the clock strike two. 

I heard something else : a stir in the gallery. It seemed as 
if some one rushed from the doors of the west wing, and came 
swiftly to the chamber of Mr. Chandos. In the stillness of 
night, sounds are plainly heard that would be inaudible by 
day. The footsteps were like Hill's. There was a brief 
whispering in Mr. Chandos's chamber, and the same footsteps 
ran back to the west wing. 

What could be the matter? Was Lady Chandos worse? 
Almost as I asked myself the question, I heard Mr. Chandos 
come out of his room, go downstairs, and out at the hall-door. 
Curiosity led me to look from the window. The stars were 

Anne Hereford. 24 



370 ANNE HEREFORD. 

sliining brilliantly ; I suppose it was a frosty niglit ; and the 
dark pine-trees rose clear and defined against the sky. All was 
quiet. 

A very few minutes and other sounds broke the silence : the 
footsteps of a horse. Mr. C'handos— as I supposed it to be — 
came riding forth at a canter from the direction of the stables : 
the pace increasing to a galloj) as he turned into the broad 
walk. 

There seemed less sleep for me than ever. In about an 
hour's time I heard Mr. Chandos ride in again. I heard him 
ride round to the stables, and return on foot. He let himself 
in at the hall-door, came softly upstairs, and went into the west 
wing. It was in that wing that something must be happening. 

I was almost dressed in the morning when Mrs. Penu knocked 
at my door and entered. I did wish she would not thus inter- 
rupt me ! Once she had come when I was reading my chapter ; 
once during my prayers. 

" Did you hear any disturbance in the night ? " she began. 
*'Mr. Chandos went out at two o'clock. Do you know what 
for ? " 

" Mrs. Penn ! How should I be likely to know ? " 

" I happened to be up, looking from the end window " 

" At that time of night ? " I interrupted. 

" Yes, at that time of night," she repeated. " I was watching 
for — for — the ghost if you will " (but I thought somehow she 
said this to mystify me), " and so I may as well confess it. I 
often do watch from my window at night. Suddenly a figure 
appeared making its way swiftly towards the stables ; my heart 
stood, still for a moment ; I thought the ghost had come at last. 
But soon I recognized Mr. Chandos, and presently saw him 
return on horseback. Where did he go to? For what 
purpose ? " 

" You put the questions as though you thought I could 
answer them," I said to her ; and so she did, speaking in a 
demanding sort of way. " I cannot tell where Mr. Chandos 
has gone." 

"He is back again now: he was home again in about an 
hour. 1 would give the world to kno\v ! " 



GETTING INTO THE WEST WING. 371 

" But \\ liy ? What business ie it of yours or mine ? Mr, 
Cliaudos's movements are nothing to us." 

" They are so much to us — to me — that I would forfeit this 
to be able to follow him about and see where ho goes and what 
he does," she said, holding up her right hand. 

I looked at her in wonder. 

" I would. Is it not a singular sort of thing that a gentle- 
man should rise from his bod at two o'clock in the morning, 
saddle his horse by stealth, and ride forth on a mysterious 
journey ? " 

" It is singular. But he may not have saddled his horse by 
stealth." 

" How now ? " she tartly answered. " He did saddle it ; 
saddled it himself." 

" Yes : but that may have been only from a wish not to 
disturb the grooms from their rest. To do a thing one's self 
with a view of sjiaring others, and to do it stealthily arc two 
things." 

" So your spirit must rise up to defend him still ! Take caro 
of yourself, Anne Hereford ! " 

" Nay, there was no defence. What does it signify whether 
Mr. Chandos saddles a horse for himself or gets a man to 
saddle it ? " 

" Not much, perhaps ; looking at it in the light you do." 

" Mrs. Penn, I wish you would please to go, and allow me to 
finish dressing. I am afraid of being late." 

Eather to my surprise, she moved to the door without another 
word, and shut it behind her. 

I went down to breakfast : I could not help myself. It would 
not do to plead illness, and ask to have my meals sent upstairs. 
But we had a third at table, I found ; and that was Dr. Laken. 
I am not sure how I and Mr. Chandos should have got on 
without him ; with him all went smoothly. 

But not merrily. For both he and Mr. Chandos spoke and 
looked as if under the influence of sonic great care. Listening 
to their conversation, I discovered a rather singular circum- 
stance. Mr. Chandos's errand in the night had been to the 
telegraph-ofiice at Wai^sall, to send an imperative message for 



372 ANNE HEREFOED. 

Dr. Laken. That gentleman (almost as thougli a prevision had 
been upon him that he would be wanted) had started for 
Chandos the previous evening by a night train, and was at 
Chandos at seven in the morning. So that he and the message 
crossed each other. His visit was of course — though I was not 
told so — to Lady Chandos ; and I feared there must be some 
dangerous change in her. They talked together, without refer- 
ence to me. 

" I wish you could have remained," Mr. Chandos suddenly 
said to the doctor. 

" I wish I could. I have told you why I am obliged to go, 
and where. I will be back to-night, if possible ; if not, early 
to-morrow. Eemember one thing, Mr. Harry — that my staying 
here could be of no real use. It is a satisfaction to you, of 
course, that I should be at hand, but I can do nothing." 

" Mr. Dexter is here, sir, and wishes to see you," said Hickens, 
entering the parlour at this juncture, " He says he is sorry 
to disturb you so early, sir, but he is oflf to that sale of stock, 
and must speak to you first. I have shown him into your 
private room, sir." 

Mr. Chandos rose from his seat and went out. And now 
came my turn. I was alone with Dr. Laken, and seized the 
opportunity to inquire about Lady Chandos. See her I must, 
and would. 

" Is Lady Chandos alarmingly ill. Dr. Laken ? 

He was occupied with an egg at the time, and he did not 
speak immediately : his attention seemed almost equally divided 
between looking at me and finishing the egg. r 

" What you young ladies might call alarmingly ill, we old 
doctors might not," were his words, when he at length spoke. 

" Can she speak ? " 

« Oh yes." 

" And is sufficiently well to understand, if any one speaks to 
her?" 

" Quite so. Don't trouble yourself, my dear, about Lady 
Chandos. I trust she will be all right with time." 

Not another word did I get from him. He began talking of 
the weather ; and then took up a newspaper until Mr. Chandos 



GETTING INTO THE WEST WING. 373 

returned. As I was leaving them alone after breakfast, Mr« 
Cliandos spoke to me in a half-grave, half-jesting tone. 

" You arc one of the family, you know, Miss Hereford, and 
may be asked to keep its affairs close, just as Emily would be 
were she here. Don't mention that I went to Warsall in tlio 
night — as you have now heard that I did go. It is of no use 
to make the household uneasy." 

And, as if to enforce the words, Dr. Laken nodded em- 
phatically. I bowed and withdrew. 

To see Lady Chandos ? How was it to be done ? And, in 
spite of Dr. Laken's reassuring answer, I scarcely knew what 
to believe. Hill went about with a solemn face, silent as the 
grave ; and an impression ran through the household that some- 
thing was very much amiss in the west wing. My impression 
was, that there was a great deal of unaccountable mystery 
somewhere. 

" Harriet," I said, as the girl came to my room in the course 
of her duties, " how is Lady Chandos ? " 

" Well, miss, we can't quite make out," was the answer. 
" Hill is in dreadful troixble, and the doctor is here again ; but 
Lizzy Dene saw my lady for a minute this morning, and she 
looked much as usual." 

So far well. To Lady Chandos I determined to penetrate 
ere the day should close. And I am sure, had any one seen me 
that morning, dodging into the gallery from my room and back 
again, they would have deemed me haunted by a restless spirit. 
I was watching my opportunity. It did not come for nearly all 
day. In the morning Dr. Laken and Mr. Chandos were there ; 
in the afternoon Hill was shut up in it. It was growing dusk 
when I, still on the watch, saw Hill come forth. She left the 
door ajar, as if she intended to return instantly, and went into 
a large linen-closet close by. Now was my time. I glided 
past the closet, quiet as a mouse, and within the green-baize 
door of the west wing. 

But which was the room of Lady Chandos ? No time was to 
be lost, for if Hill returned, she was sure to eject me summarily, 
as she had done once before. I softly opened two doors, taking 
no notice of what the rooms might contain, looking only whether 



374 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Lady Chandos was inside. Next I came to one, and ojieued it, 
as I had the others ; and saw — what ? "Who — who was it sitting 
there ? Not Lady Chandos. 

In a large arm-chair near the fire, propped up with pillows, 
sat an emaciated object, white, thin, cadaverous. A tall man 
evidently, bearing in features a great resemblance to Mr. 
Chandos, a strange likeness to that ghostly vision — if it had 
been one — I had seen in the gallery. Was he the ghost ? — 
sitting there and staring at me with his large eyes, but never 
speaking ? If not a ghost, it must be a living skeleton. 

My pulses stood still ; my heart leaped into my mouth. The 
figure raised his arm, and pointed peremptorily to the door with 
his long, lank, white fingers. A sign that I must quit his 
presence. 

I was glad to do so. Startled, terrified, bewildered, I thought 
no more of Lady Chandos, but went back through the j)assage, 
and out at the green-baize door. There, face to face, I en- 
countered Mr. Chandos. 

I shall not readily forget his face when he looked at me. 
Never had greater haughtiness, rarely greater anger, appeared 
in the countenance of living man. 

" Have you been in there f " he demanded. 

" Yes. I " More I could not say. The words died on 

my lips. 

" Listen, Miss Hereford," he said, his face working with 
emotion. " I am grieved to be compelled to say anything 
discourteous to a lady, more especially to you, but I must forhid 
you to approach these rooms, however powerfully your curiosity 
may urge you to visit them. I act as the master of Chandos, 
and demand it as a right. Your business lies at the other end 
of the gallery ; this end is sacred, and must be kept so from 
intrusion." 

I stole away with my crimson face, with a crimsoned brain, I 
think, wishing the gallery floor would open and admit me. 
Hill came out of the closet with wondering eyes ; Mr. Chandos 
went on, and closed the door of the west wing after him. I felt 
ashamed to faintness. My " curiosity ! " 

But who could it be, he whom I had just seen, thus closeted 



GETTING INTO THE WEST WING. 375 

in the apartmcuts of Lady Cliandos ? Could it be Sir Thomas, 
arrived from abroad ? But when did he arrive ? and why this 
concealment in his mother's rooms ? for concealment it appeared 
to be. Whoever it was, he was fearfully ill and wasted : of 
that tliere could be no doubt ; ill, as it seemed to me, almost 
unto death ; and a conviction came over me that Dr. Laken's 
visits were paid to him, not to Lady Chandos. 

" My dear child, how flushed and strange you look ! " 

The speaker was Mrs. Penn, interrupting my chain of 
thought. She was standing at the door of the east wing, came 
forward, and turned with me into my room. 

" Anne," she continued, her tones full of gentle compassion, 
" was Mr. Chandos speaking in that manner to you ? " 

" I deserved it," I sighed, " for I really had no right to enter 
the west Aving clandestinely. I went there in search of Lady 
Chandos. I want to leave, but I cannot go without first seeking 
her, and I thought I would try to do so, in &\)\iQ of Hill." 

" And did you see her ? " questioned Mrs. Penn. 

" No ; I could not see her anywhere ; I suppose I did not go 
into all the rooms. But I saw some one else." 

" Who was it ? " 

" The strangest being," I answered, too absorbed in the sub- 
ject, too surprised and bewildered, to observe my usual custom 
of telling nothing to Mrs. Penn. " He was sitting in an easy- 
chair, supported by pillows ; a tall, emaciated man, looking — 
oh, so ill ! His face was the thinnest and whitest I ever saw ; 
but it bore a likeness to Mr. Chandos." 

Had I been more collected, I might have seen how the reve- 
lation affected Mrs. Penn. Just then my eyes and senses were, 
BO to say, blinded. She put her hand on my arm, listening for 
more. 

" He startled me terribly ; I declare that, at first sight, I 
thought it was a ghost. Why should he be hidden there '? — if 
ho is hidden. Unless it is Sir Thomas Chandos come homo 
from India Mrs. Penn I what's the matter ? " 

The expression of her countenance at length arrested me. Her 
face had turned white, her lips were working with excitement. 

" For the love of Heaven, wait ! " she uttered. " A tall 



376 ANNE HEREFORD. 

man, bearing a family likeness to Mr. Chandos — was that what 
you said ? " 

" A striking likeness : allowing for the fact that Mr. Chandos 
is in health, and that the other looks as though he were dying. 
The eyes are not alike : his are large and dark, Mr. Chandos's 
blue. Why ? Perhaps it is only Sir Thomas Chandos." 

" It is not Sir Thomas ; he is a short, plain man, resembling 
his mother. No, no ; I know too well who it is ; and it explains 
the mystery of that west wing. All that has been so un- 
accountable to me since I have dwelt at Chandos is quite plain 
now. Dolt that I was, never to have suspected it ! Oh ! but 
they were clever dissemblers, with their illnesses of my Lady 
Chandos ! " 

She went out, and darted into the east wing. So astonished 
was I, that I stood looking after her, and saw her come quietly 
forth again after a minute or two, attired to go out. She was 
gliding down the stairs, when Mrs. Chandos also came from the 
east wing and called to her, 

" Mrs. Penn, where are you going ? I want you." 

Mrs. Penn, thus arrested, turned round, a vexed expression 
on her face. 

" I wish to do a very slight errand for myself, madam. I 
shall not be long." 

" I cannot spare you now ; I cannot, indeed. You must defer 
it until to-morrow. I will not remain by myself now that it is 
getting dark. I am as nervous as I can be this evening. You 
are not half so attentive as Mrs. Freeman was : you are always 
away, or wanting to be away." 

Mrs. Penn came slowly up the stairs again, untying her 
bonnet-strings. But I saw she had a great mind to rebel, and 
depart on her errand in defiance of her mistress. 

What could it be that she was so anxious for ? what wars she 
going to do ? As she had passed to the stairs before being 
called back, the words, " Down now with the Chandoses ! " had 
reached my ears from her lips, softly spoken. I felt sick and 
frightened. What mischief might I not have caused by my 
incautious revelation? It seemed as though I had been 
treacherous to Chandos. 



GETTING INTO THE WEST WING. 377 

Restless and uncomfortable, I was going into the oak-parlour 
a little later, when Lizzy Dene, in a smart new bonnet and 
plaid shawl, a small basket on her arm, came into the hall to 
Bay something to Hickens, who was there. 

" I suppose I may go out at this door, now I'm here ? " said 
she, afterwards ; and Hickens grunted out " Yes " as he with- 
drew. At that self-same moment Mrs. Penn came softly and 
swiftly down the stairs, and called to her. Neither of them 
saw me, just inside the parlour. 

" You are going out, I see, Lizzy. Will you do a little 
errand for me ? " 

" If it won't take long," was the girl's free answer. " But I 
have got leave to go out to tea, and am an hour later than I 
thought to be." 

" It will not take you a minute out of your way. You know 
where Mr. Edwin Barley lives — the new tenant. Go to his 
house with this note, and desire that it may be given to him : 
should he not be at home, say that it must be handed to him 
the instant he comes in. If you do this promptly, and keep it 
to yourself, mind ! I will give you a crown piece ! " 

" I'll do it, and say ' thank yc,' too, ma'am," laughed Lizzy, 
in glee. 

She opened the lid of her basket, popped in the note, and went 
out at the hall-door. Mrs. Penn disaj)peared upstairs. 

But Lizzy Dene had halted in the portico, and had her face 
turned towards the skies, 

"Now, is it going to rain? — or is it only the dark of the 
evening '? " she deliberated aloud. " Better take an umbrella. 
I should not like my new shawl spoilt ; and they didn't warrant 
the blue in it, if it got a soaking." 

She put down the basket, and ran back to the kitchen. Now 
was my opportunity. I stole to the basket, lifted the lid, and 
took out the letter, trusting to good luck, and to Lizzy's not 
looking into the basket on her return. 

She did not. She came back with the umbrella, snatched up 
the basket, and went down the broad walk, at a run. 

With the letter grasped in my hand, I was hastening to my 
own room to read it in peace 



378 ANNE HEREFORD 

" Read it ! " interposes tlie reader, agliast at the action. 
« Bead it ? " 

Yes ; read it. I believed that tlaat letter was full of treachery 
to Chandos, and that I had unwittingly conti'ibuted to raise it, 
through my incautious revelation. Surely it was my duty now 
to do what I could to avert it, even though it involved opening 
Mrs. Penn's letter. A sudden light seemed to have opened 
ujjon her — whispering a doubt that she was treacherous. 

But in the hall I met dinner coming in, and Mr. Chandos 
with it. Putting the note inside my dress, I sat down to table. 

It was a silent dinner, except for the most ordinary courtesies. 
Mr. Chandos was grave, preoccupied, and sorrowful ; I was as 
grave and preoccupied as he. When the servants had left, he 
drew a dish of walnuts towards him, peeled some, and passed 
them to me ; then he began to peel for himself. I felt inclined 
to refuse them, but somehow words failed mo. 

" Anne, I have not understood you the last few days." 

The address took me by surprise, for thei-e had been a long 
silence. He did not raise his eyes to me as he spoke, but kept 
them on the walnuts. 

" Have you not, sir ? " 

" What could have induced you to intrude into the west wing, 
to-day ? Pardon the word, if it grates upon your ear ; that 
part of Chandos House is strictly private ; private and sacred ; 
known to be so by all inmates; and, for any one to enter 
unsolicited, is an intrusion." 

" I am sorry that I went in — very sorry ; no one can repent 
of it now more than I do ; but I had an urgent motive for 
wishing to see Lady Chandos. I wish to see her still, if 
possible ; I do not like to leave Chandos without it." 

" You are not going to leave Chandos ? " 

" I leave to-morrow, if it be practicable. If not, the next day." 

" No," he said ; " it must not be. I act for my mother, and 
refuse her sanction." 

Too vexed to answer, too vexed to remain at table, I rose and 
went to the fire, standing with my back to him. 

" Wliat has changed you ? " ho abruptly asked. 

" Changed mo ? " 



GETTING INTO THE WEST WING. 379 

" For some days now you have been unlike yourself. Wliy 
visit upon me the sins of another ? I suffer sufficiently as it 
is ; I suffer always." 

I could not understand the speech any more than if it had 
been Greek, and glanced to him for explanation. 

" I look back on my past conduct, and cannot see that I am 
to blame. We were thrown together by circumstances ; and if 
love stole unconsciously over us, it was neither my fault nor 
yours. I was wrong, you will say, to avow this love ; I believe 
I was ; it might have been better that I had held my tongue. 
But " 

" It would be better that you should hold it now, sir. I do 
not wish to enter upon any explanation. Quit your house, I 
will. Lady Chandos, were she made acquainted with what has 
passed, would be the first to send me from it." 

Mr. Chandos rose and stood up by me. " Am I to under- 
stand that you wish to quit it because I have spoken of this 
love ? " 

" Yes ; and because — because it is no longer a fit residence 
for me." 

" Do you wish to imply that under no circumstances — that 
is, with any barrier that may exist now against my marrying 
removed — would you accept my love ? " 

" I wish to imply — to say — that not under any alteration of 
circumstances that the world can bring about, would I accept 
your love, Mr. Chandos. The very fact of your naming it to 
me is an insult." 

And yet how passionately was I loving him in my heart all 
the time, even as I spoke it ! 

"Very well. In that case it may be better that you quit 
Chandos. Should Miss Barlieu's answer prove favourable — I 
mean, if she assures you that danger from the fever is jiast — you 
shall be conveyed there under proj)er escort." 

" Thank you," I interrupted, feeling, I do believe, not half 
as grateful as I ought. 

" A moment yet. In case the danger is not past, you must 
remain here a little longer. There is no help for it. I will 
promise not to speak another unwelcome word to you, and to 



380 ANNE HEREt'OiiD. 

give you as little of my company as possible. We will both 
ignore the past as a pleasant dream, just as though it had not 
existed. Will this content you ? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" Then I give you my honour that after this evening it shall 
be so. But we must have a few words together first. 1 have 
already intimated that I should not have spoken so soon but 
for perceiving that love had arisen on your side as well as 
mine. Now don't fly off at a tangent : I intend to have an 
explanation from you this night : an explanation that shall set 
things straight between us, or sever us for ever. We are not 
boy and girl that we should shrink from it. At least, if 
you are only a girl in years, you have sense and prudence and 
right feeling that belong rather to double your age." 

Standing there before me, calm and resolute, I knew there 
could be no avoidance of the explanation he sought. His was 
the master-spirit. But it was cruel to wish me to give it in 
words. And so utterly needless ! 

" If I allude to your love for me, it is not needlessly to pain, 
or, as you may think, insult you : believe me, when I say it ; 
but only to call to your notice the inconsistency of your conduct. 
It is of iJiis that I require an explanation. Anne, you Jcnoio you 
loved me. Whence, then, the sudden change ? " 

" I did not know your position then," I answered, meeting 
the words as I supposed he wished to force me to meet them, 
and taking a stejj backwards on the hearthrug. 

" I can only think you must in some way be mistaking my 
position. Circumstances, very sad and grievous circumstances, 
are rendering it of brighter prospect. I am aware of the mis- 
fortune that attaches to my family, the disgrace that is reflected 
upon me : but you should not treat me as though the disgrace 
or the fault were mine. Surely there is no justice in resenting 
it on me ! You might have rejected me with civility." 

" I do not know what you are saying," I interrupted, pas- 
sionately. " What is it to me, the disgrace attaching to your 
family ? That could not sway me. It is unknown to me." 

" Unknown to you ? " he repeated in accents of surprise. 

" Quito unknown, except for vague rumours that I have not 



GETTING INTO THE WEST WING. 381 

cared to attend to. The disgrace lies with yon, sir, not ^vith 
your family." 

" With me ? What have I done ? Do yon mean in having 
sjiokeu to yon of love ? " he added, finding I did not answer. 
" At least, I do not see that disgrace could be charged on me 
for that. I intended to lay the case oi)enly before you, and it 
would have been at your option to accept or reject me." 

" Do yon call deceit and dishonour no disgrace, Mr. Chandos ? " 

" Great disgrace. But I have not been guilty of either." 

" Yon have been guilty of both." 

" When ? and how ? " 

" To me. Yon know it. You know it, sir. Had my father 
been alive ; had I any friend in the world to protect me, 1 do 
not think yon would have dared to speak to me of love." 

" Were your father. Colonel Hereford, alive, Anne, I should 
lay the whole case before him, and say — 'Judge for yourself; 
shall, or shall not your daughter be mine ? ' 1 fancy he would 
find the objection less insuperable than yon appear to do." 

I believe I simj)ly stared in answer to this. Calm, good, and 
noble he looked, standing there with his truthful eyes, speaking 
his apparently truthful words. It seemed that we must be at 
cross-purposes. 

" When yon spoke of the bar that existed to your marrying, 
you put it upon the misfortunes, the disgrace attaching to your 
family, Mr, Chandos. But yon never alluded to the real bar." 

" There is no other bar. But for that, I should like to make 
yon my wife to-morrow. What have yon got in your head '? " 

I knew what I was beginning to have in my temper. " If 
yon continue to detain me here, sir, and to say these things, I 
will go straight with my complaint to Mrs. Chandos." 

" To Mrs. Chandos ! What good would that do ? " he coolly 
questioned. 

" Oh, sir, S2:)are me ! I did not think you would behave so. 
Don't yon see, putting me and my feelings out of the question, 
how all this wx'ongs her ? " 

He looked at me strangely, his countenance puzzled. " What 
has Mrs. Chandos to do ^\'ith it ? She is nothing to yon or 
to me." 



382 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" She is your wife, sir." 

His elbow displaced some ornament on the mantelpiece ; he 
Lad to turn and save it from falling. Then he faced me again. 

" My wife, did you say ? " 

And very much ashamed I had felt to say it : with my hot 
face and my eyes bent on the carpet. 

" Mrs. Chandos is no wife of mine. I never was married yet. 
Did you fall asleep and dream it ? " 

Ah, how that poor foolish heart of mine stood still ! Was it 
possible tliat Mrs. Penn had been mistaken ? — that my misery 
had been without foundation ; my insults only fancied ones. 
No condemned criminal, called from his cell to hear the reprieve 
read that will restore to him the life he has forfeited, could 
experience a more intense revulsion of joy than I did then. 

I j)ut my hands i;p before him : it was no moment for affecta- 
tion or reticence. 

" Tell me the truth," I gasped ; " the truth as before Heaven. 
Is, or is not, Mrs. Chandos your wife ? " 

He bent his head a little forward, speaking clearly and dis- 
tinctly, with an emphasis on every word. 

" Mrs. Chandos is my sister-in-law. She is my brother's 
wife. It is the truth, in the presence of Heaven." 

I covered my face with my hands to hide the blinding tears, 
my cheeks of shame. To have made so dreadful a mistake ! — 
and to have spoken of it ! 

Mr. Chandos took the hands away, holding them and me 
before him. 

" Having said so much, Anne, you must say more. Has this 
been the cause of your changed conduct ? Whence could the 
strange notion have arisen ? " 

I spoke a few w^ords as well as 1 could ; just the heads of 
what I had heai'd, and from whom. 

" Mrs. Penn ! Why, she of all people must know better. She 
knows who Mrs. Chandos's husband is. Surely she cannot be 
mistaking me for my brother ! " 

" I thouglit, sir, you had no brother, except Sir Thomas." 

"Yes, I have another brother," he answered, in a whisper. 
" You saw him to-day, Anne." 



GETTING INTO THE WEST WING. 383 

" That poor sick gentleman, who looks so near the grave ? " 

" Even so. It is he who is the husband of Mrs. Chandos. 
The ftict of his being at Chandos is unknown, not to be spoken 
of," ho said, sinking his voice still lower, and glancing round 
the walls of the room, as though he feared they might contain 
cavcsdropiiers. " Take care that it does not escape your lips." 

Alas ! it had escaped them. I bent my head and my troubled 
face, wondering whether I ought to confess it to him. But he 
si)oke again. 

" And so—this is the silly dream you have been losing 
yourself in ! Anne ! could you not have trusted me better ? " 

"You must forgive me," I said, looking piteously at him 
through my tears. 

" Will you recall your vow, child ; never — under any circum- 
stances that the world can bring forth — to accept any love ? " 
he whispered. " Oh, Anne, my darling ! it would be cruel of 
you to part us." 

Never more would I doubt him, never more. True, kind, 
good, his face was bent, waiting for the answer. My Avhole 
heart, my trust went out to him, then and for ever. I lifted 
my eyes and stole my hand into his. Down came his kisses 
upon my lijis by way of sealing the compact. 

" And so you arc willing to trust me without the exjilana- 
tion ? " 

" Quite willing," I whispered. " I am certain you have not 
been guilty of any crime." 

" Never ; so help me Heaven," he fervently answered. " But 
disgrace reflects upon me, for all that, and you must give your 
final decision when you have heard it." 

I sat down : he put his elbow on the mantelpiece as before. 

" Anne, you will not run away from Chandos now ? " 

" Not to-morrow, sir." 

" Am I to be ' sir ' always, you shy child ? But about this 
fable of yours connecting me with Mrs. Chandos? It could 
scarcely have been Mrs. Penn who imparted it to you ? " 

" Indeed it was. She said a great deal more than that." 

" It is not possible she can be mistaking mc for my brotlicr," 
he repeated, deliberating with himself. " That cannot be, for 



384 ANNE HEREFORD. 

slie believes him to be a fugitive. This is very strange, 
Anne." 

Perhaps Mrs. Penn is false, I thought in my inmost heart. 
Perhaps she has a motive in wishing me to leave Chandos ? She 
had certainly done her best to forward it — and to prejudice me 
against him. 

" Do you Tcnoio Mrs. Penn to bo true to your interests, Mr. 
Chandos ? I mean to those of the family ? " 

" I know nothing about her. Of course but for being supposed 
to bo true and honourable, she would not have been admitted 
here. My mother Hark ! What's that ? " 

A sound of wheels was heard, as of a carriage being driven 
to the door. Mr. Chandos turned to listen. It struck me that 
a sort of dread rose to his countenance. 

" What troubles you ? " I whispered, approaching him. " You 
look as if there were cause for fear." 

" There is every cause for fear in this unhappy house. Do 
you remember the night that the police rode up, Anne ? I 
thought surely the blow had come. I know not whom this 
carriage may have brought : I am not expecting any one." 

We heard the door opened by one of the servants. 

" It may be Dr. Laken, sir." 

" No ; he could not be back yet." 

In bustled Hickens, faster than was usual with that solemn 
personage. 

"It's Miss Emily, sir," said he, addressing Mr. Chandos. 
"That is, Madame de Mellissie. Her foreign French name 
never comes free to me." 

Miss Emily was in the room ere Hickens had done speaking 
— bright, handsome, gay as ever. 

" There's plenty of luggage, Hickens, mind ; you must see to 
it with Pauline," were her first words. "And how are you, 
Harry ? " she continued, putting up her mouth to be kissed. 

" This is an unexpected visit, Emily," he said, as he took the 
kiss. " You should have written us word, and I would have 
met you at the station with the carriage. How did you come 
from it ? " 

" Oh, I found a conveyance of some sort ; a fly, or a chaise ; 



GETTING INTO THE WEST WING. 385 

I hardly know what it was, except that I believe it had no 
Siirings, for it shook me to pieces. How is mamma V " 

" Won't you speak to me, Madame de Mellissie ? " I asked, 
holding out my hand. I had stood there waiting for her to 
notice me, which she did not appear to have the least intention 
of doing. 

" I hope you are well," was her reply, but she jjointedly and 
rudely neglected my offered hand. 

" How did you leave your husband ? " Mr. Chandos hastily 
asked, as a sort of covering to her ill manners. 

" Well neither in health nor in temi^er. I ran away." 

" Ean away I " 

" Of course I did. I received a letter, some days past " 

" Yes, I wrote to you," I interrupted. 

" You ! " she rudely said, in condemning tones. " I am not 
alluding to your letter. When this other letter arrived, I told 
Alfred I must go at once to Chandos. ' Very well,' said he, ' I 
shall be able to take you in a day or so.' But the days went 
on, and still he was too ill ; or said he was. ' I must go,' I said 
to him yesterday morning. ' I must and I will,' and that put 
him up. ' Listen, ma chere,' cried he, in his cool way, ' I am 
too ill to travel, and there's no one else to take you, so you 
can't go ; therefore let us hear no more about it.' Merci, 
monsieur! I thought to myself ; and I forthwith told Pauline 
to jmck up, and get the boxes out of the house en cachette. 
She did so, and I followed them, Alfred and Madame la Mere 
believing I had gone for a drive in the Bois de Boulogne. A 
pretty long drive they must think it by this time." 

" Emily, how can you act so ? " exclaimed her brother, in 
stern reproval. 

" Now, Harry, I don't want any of your morality. Look at 
home, before you preach to me. What have you bean doing 
the last few weeks ? I have heard." 

" Shall I pay for the chaise, ma'am ? " inquired Hickens, 
putting in his head. 

" Pay for anything and everything, Hickens," was her answer. 
" I have brought no money with mo, to speak of. I ran 
away." 

Anne IlcreJoid. 25 



38G ANXE IIEUEFORP. 

" Emily, Low caa yuu V " exclaiincd Mr. L'liaudos, as the man. 
witlidrew. 

'• Nonsense ! Who's Hickcns ? Pauline's sure to tell him 
all about it. I repeat to you, Harry, that you need not preach : 
you have more need to reform your own acts and doings. The 
letter I received was about you ; and, from what it said, I began 
to think it high time that I should bo at Chandos." 

" Indeed ! " he quietly answered. " Pray who may have taken 
the trouble to write it ? " 

" That is what I cannot tell you. It was anonymous." 

Mr. Chandos curled his lip. " There is only one thing to do 
with an anonymous letter, Emily — put it in the fire, with a 
thought of pity for its miserable writer, and then forget it for 
ever. We have been dealing in anonymous letters here, lately. 
I received one ; and the inspector of police at Warsall received 
one, falsely purjiorting to be from me. The result was that a 
descent of mounted police came swooping upon us one night, 
frightening sober Chandos out of its propriety." 

" I never heard of such a thing ! " exclaimed Madame de 
Mellissie, her interest momentarily diverted from her own 
grievances. " What did they want V " 

" The inspector was led to believe I required them to take 
some one into custody for theft. I assure you anonymous letters 
have been the fashion here lately. But they arc not the less 
despicable," 

" Shall I tell you what v,'iis in mine ? " 

" I do not wish to hear it." 

" Ah, you are afraid," she answered, with a laugh. " Con- 
science makes cowards of us all." 

Mr. Chandos looked anything but afraid : he stood very 
calm, his head raised. Emily began taking off her things, 
throwing a bonnet on one chair, gloves on anothei-, a shav>'l on 
the floor. I went forward to assist her. 

" Don't touch anything of mine," she haughtily interrupted. 

" Harry, how long has mamma kept her room ? " 

" Ever since you left," replied Mr. Chandos. 

" Oh. And you and Anno Hereford have had the sole benefit 
of each other't! company ! " 



GETTING INTO TIIR WEST WING. 387 

"Aud a very pleasant benefit, too," boldly retorted Mi-. 
Ohandos. But my checks were crimson, and tliey both saw it. 
" You wrote me word that you wislied to leave," she said, 
turning to me. " You arc no longer in my service, and are at 
liberty to do so. When can you be ready ? 

" My preparations will not take me long," was my reply. 
Little cause was there to ask what had been the purport of 
her anonymous letter. Who could have written it? Who 
could be concerning themselves about me and Mr. C'handos ? 
Was it Mrs. Peun ? 

" I should like some tea," she said, as she poured herself 
out a glass of wine. " Eing the bell and order it in. Miss 
Hereford. Whilst they bring it I will run up to mamma's 
rooms, Harry. Won't she pull a long face when she hears tliat 
I decamped without the cognizance of Ic mari et la vieillo 
mere ! " 

"Emily," said Mr. Chandos, gravely, '"'you cannot go into 
your mamma's rooms at present." 
" But I will go." 

" My dear, you must not ; at least until I have spoken to 
you. There are urgent reasons against it," 
" What are the reasons ? " 

" I will tell you later. You had better have some tea first. 
Shall I ring for Hill to show you to a chamber ? " 

"I will be shown to a chamber when I have been in to 
mamma," she defiantly responded. " Take yourself out of tlio 
way, Harry." 

Poor Mr. Chandos v»-as standing between her and the door. 
" Emily, did I ever advise you but for your good —your comfort ? 
Pray attend to mc." 

" For my good, no doubt," she said, with a gay laugh. " I 
don't know about my comfort. Harry, we sliall come to a 
battle royal, if you don't move from tliat door. I am quite 
determined to go into the west wing, and I will not be stopped. 
Why ! you are trying to control me as though I were a child." 
Mr. Chandos opened the door and followed her out. In tho 
hall they stood for a moment talking together in a whisper, 
and I heard a cry of pain and dismay escape her lips. 



388 ANNE HEREFORD. 

CHAPTEE XXVII. 

GEORGE HENEAGE. 

I SAT clown with my weight of happiness. Oh, the change that 
had passed over me ! He was not married ; he was true and 
honourable, and he loved me ! Everything else went out of 
my head, even the letter I held, still unopened ; and when I 
should have thought of it I cannot say, but that some time 
later I heard the voice of Mrs. Penn in the hall, speaking in 
covert tones. 

I remembered it then. Was she going to steal out, as she had 
previously essayed to do ? I went to the door and opened it 
about an inch. Lizzy Dene stood there. 

" How early you are home ! " Mrs. Penn was saying. 

" Thanks to Madam Hill ! " grumbled Lizzy. " She wouldn't 
give me leave to go unless I could be in by seven, or a bit 
later : with illness in the house, she said, there was no knowing 
what might be wanted." 

"Did you deliver the letter?" resumed Mrs. Penn, in a 
whisper. 

" Yes, ma'am," was the ready answer. " A young man came 
to the door, and I asked if Mr. Barley was at home, and he 
said, ' Yes, all alone,' so I gave him the note, and he took it in." 

" Thank you, Lizzy," answered Mrs. Penn, complacently. 
" There's the five shillings I promised you." 

" Many thanks all the same to you, ma'am, but I'd rather not 
take it," rej)lied Lizzy, to my great astonishment, and no doubt 
to Mrs. Penn's. " I'm well paid here, and I don't care to be 
rewarded for any little extra service. It's all in the way of tho 
day's work." 

They parted, Mrs. Penn going np the stairs again. But a 
startling doubt had come over me at Lizzy Dene's words : could 
I have taken the wrong letter from the basket ? I hastened 
back to the light and drew it forth. No, it was all right : it was 
directed to Mr Edwin Barley. What could Lizzy Dene mean 
by saying she had delivered it, I wondered, as I tore it ox>Qn. 



GEORGE IIEXEAGE. nSD 

" I am ovcrwlielmed with astonisliment. I was coming round 
to your house, in spite of your prohibition, to tell you what 1 
have (liscoverefl, but was prevented by Mrs. Chandos. He is 
here! I am as certain of it as that I am writing these words: 
and it clears the mystery of that closely-guarded west wing, 
which has been as a closed book to me. Anne Hereford went 
surreptitiously in just now, and saw what she describes as a 
tall, emaciated object, reclining in an invalid-chair, whoso face 
bore a striking resemblance to that of Harry Chandos. There 
can be no doubt that it is he, not the slightest in the world ; 
you can therefore take immediate steps, if you choose, to have 
him apprehended. My part is now over. 

" C. D. P." 

The contents of the letter frightened mc. What mischief 
liad I not caused by that incautious revelation to Mrs. Penn ! 
IMrs. Penn the treacherous — as she undoubtedly was. " Take 
immediate steps to have him apprehended." Who was he? 
what had he done ? and how did it concern Mr. Edwin Barley ? 
Surely I ought to acquaint Mr. Chandos, and show him the 
note without loss of time. 

Tea waited on the table, when Hickens came in with a 
message from the west wing to the effect that Mr. Chandos and 
Madame de Mellissie were taking tea there. I poured out a 
cup, and sent the things away again, debating whether I might 
venture on the unheard-of proceeding of sending to the west 
wing for Mr. Chandos. 

Yes. It was a matter of necessity, and I ought to do it. I 
sought Hill. Hill was in the west wing, waiting on the tea 
party. Should I send Hickens to the west wing door, or go 
myself? Better go myself, instinct told me. 

I ran lightly up the stairs. Peej^ing out at the east wing 
daor, listening and prying, was the head of Mrs. Penn. 

" They have quite a soiree in the west wing to-night," she 
said to me, as I passed ; " a family gathering : all of them at it, 
except Sir Thomas. Whither are you off to so fast ? " 

" I have a message for the west wing," I answered, as I 
brushed on, and knocked at the door. 



390 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Hill camo to the door. She turned desperately angry when 
she saw me. 

" I have not come to intrude, Hill. Mr. Chaudos is here, is 
he not ? " 

" What's that to any one ? " retorted Hill. 

" He is wanted, that is all. Be so good as ask him to step 
down to the oak-parloiu\ At once, please ; it is very pressing." 

Hill banged the door in my face, and bolted it. Mrs. Penn, 
whoso soft steps had come stealing near, seized me by the 
gathers of my dress as I would have passed her. 

" Anne, who wants Mr. Chandos ? Have the jjolice come ? " 

" I want him ; I have a message for him," I boldly answered, 
the remembrance of her treachery giving me courage to say it. 
" Why should the police come ? What do you mean ? " 

" As they made a night invasion of the house once before, I 
did not know but they might have done it again. How tart you 
are this evening ! " 

I broke from her and went down to the parlour. Mr. 
Chandos was in it almost as soon. 

" Hill said I was wanted. Who is it, Anne ? Do you 
know ? " 

" You must forgive me for having ventured to call you, Mr. 
Chandos. I have been the cause of some imhajjpy mischief, 
and how I shall make the confession to you I hardly know. 
But, made it must be, and there is no time to be lost." 

" Sit down and don't excite yourself," he returned. " I dare 
say it is nothing very formidable." 

" When we were speaking of the gentleman I saw before 
dinner in the west wing, you warned me that his being there 
was a secret which I must take care not to betray." 

" Well ? " 

"I ought to have told you then— but I liad not the courage 
— that I had already betrayed it. In the surprise of the 
moment, as I left the west wing after seeing him, I mentioned 
it to Mrs. Penn. It was done thoughtlessly ; not intentionally ; 
and I am very sorry for it." 

" I am sorry also," he said, after a pause. " Mrs. Penn ? " he 
islowly continued, as if deliberating whether she were a safe 



GEORGE HENEAGE. 391 

person or not. " Well, it miglit possibly have been imparted 
to a worse." 

" Oh, but you have not heard all," I feverishly returned. " I 
do not think it could have been inijiarted to a worse than Mrs, 
I'eun ; but I did not know it then. I believe she has been 
writing to Mr. Edwin Barley." 

My fingers were trembling, my face was flushed. Mr. 
Chandos spoke. 

" Anne, be calm. I shall understand you better." 

I strove to do as he said, and tell my story in as few words 
as possible. That I had said it must be Sir Thomas Chandos : 
that Mrs. Penn, wildly excited, said it was not Sir Thomas ; and 
so on to the note she gave Lizzy Dene. Mr. Chandos grew a 
little excited himself as he read the note. 

" Nothing could have been more imfortunate than this. 
Nothing." 

" The most curious thing is, that when Lizzy Dene came back 
she affirmed to Mrs. Penn that she had delivered the note," I 
resumed. " I cannot make that out." 

Mr. Chandos sat thinking, his pale face full of trouble and 
peri)lexity. 

" Could Mrs. Penn have written two notes, think you, 
Anne ? " 

" I fear to think so : but it is not impossible. I only saw 
one in the basket ; but I scarcely noticed in my hurry." 

" If she did not write two, the mischief as yet is confined to 
the house, and I must take care that for this night at least that 
it is not cai-ried beyond it. After that " 

He did not conclude his sentence, but rang for Hickens. 
The man came immediately. 

" Hickens, will you lock the entrance-doors of the house, 
back and front, and put the keys into your pocket. No one 
must pass out of it again to-night." 

Hickens stared. It was the most extraordinary order ever 
given to him at Chandos. " Why, sir ? " he cried. " What 
for?" 

" It is my pleasure," replied Mr. Chandos, in his quiet tone 
of command. " Lock the doors and keep the keys ; and sufier 



392 ANNE HEREFORD. 

no one to go out on any pretence wliatsoever. No one that 
the house contains, you understand, myself excepted. Neither 
Mrs. Chandos nor Mrs. Penn ; Miss Hereford "- — turning to 
mo with a half smile — " or the servants. Should any one of 
them present themselves at the door, and, finding it fast, ask 
to ho let out, say you have my orders not to do it." 

" Very well, sir," replied the amazed Hickens. " There's 
two of the maids out on an errand now, sir ; are they to be 
lot in ? " 

" Certainly. But take care that you fasten the door after- 
wards. Go at once and do this ; and then send Lizzy Dene 
to me," 

Away went Hickens. Mr. Chandos paced the room until 
Lizzy Dene appeared. 

" Did you want me, sir ? " 

" I do. Come in and shut the door. What I want from 
you, Lizzy, is a little hit of information. If, as I believe, you 
are faithful to the house you serve, and its interests, you will 
give it me truthfully." 

Lizzy burst into tears, without any reason, that I could see, 
and hung her head. Evidently there was something or other 
on which she feared to be questioned. 

" It's what I always have been, sir, and what I hope I shall 
be. What have I done ? " 

" Did Mrs. Penn give you a letter, some two or three hours 
aga, to deliver at Mr. Edwin Barley's ? " 

" Yes, sir," Avas the reply, spoken without hesitation or 
embarrassment. Apparently that was not Lizzy Dene's sore 
point. 

" Did you deliver it ? " 

Lizzy hesitated, and Mr. Chandos repeated his question. 

" Now only to think that one can't meet with an accident 
without its being known all round as soon as done ! " she 
exclaimed. " If I had thought you had anytliing to do with the 
matter, sir, I'd have told the truth Avhcn I came back ; but I 
was afraid Mrs. Penn would be angry with me." 

"I shall be glad to hoar that tlie letter was not delivered," 
said Mr. Chandos, " So tell the truth now." 



GEORGE ITENEAGE. 303 

" Where I could have lost it, sir, I know no more than the 
flead," she resumed. " I know I put it safe in my basket ; and 
though I did run, it could not have shaken out, because the lid 
Avas shut down ; but when I got to Mr. Barley's, and went to 
take it out, it was gone. Slcighted off right away ; just like 
that letter you lost from the hall-table, sir. What to do I 
didn't know, for I had given a good pull at their bell before I 
found out the loss. But I had another letter in my basket " 

" Another letter ? " interrupted Mr. Chandos, thinking his 
fears verified. 

" Leastways, as good as a letter, sir. As luck would have it, 
when I was running down, the avenue, I met the young man 
from the fancy-draj)er's in the village, and he thrust a folded 
letter in my hands. ' For Lady Chandos, and mind you give 
it her,' says he, ' for it's a list of our new fashions.' So, what 
should I do, sir, when I found the other was gone, but give in 
the fashions to Mr. Barley's young man. ' And mind you take 
it in to your master without any delay,' says I, ' for it's par- 
ticular.' He'll wonder what they want, sending him the 
fashions," concluded Lizzy. 

" You said nothing to Mrs. Penn of this ? " 

" Well — no, sir, I didn't. I meant, when she found it out, to 
let her think I had given in the wrong letter by mistake. I 
don't suppose hers was of much consequence, for it was only 
writ in pencil. I didn't take the money she offered me, though ; 
I thought that wouldn't be fair, as I had not done the service." 

" And my desire is, that you say nothing to her," said IMr. 
Chandos. " Let the matter rest as it is." 

Mr. Chandos looked very grave after Lizzy Dene witlidrcw, 
as though he were debating something in his mind. Suddenly 
he spoke. 

" Anne, cast your thoughts back a few years. Was any one 
in Mr. Edwin Barley's house, at the time Philip King was 
killed, at all answering to the description of Mrs. Penn ? " 

I looked at him in simple astonishment. 

" It has struck me once or twice that Mrs. Penn must have 
been in the house, or very near it, by the knowledge slic has of 
the details, great and small. And it would almost seem now, 



394 ANNE HEREFORD. 

as thougla she were in league witli Edwin Barley, acting as his 

spy-" 

" No one whatever was there except the servants and Charlotte 
Delves?" 

« Stop a bit. Charlotte Delves— C. D. P. ; C. D. would stand 
for that name. Is Mrs. Penn Charlotte Delves ? " 

The question almost took my breath away. 

" But, Mr. Chandos, look at Mrs. Penn's hair ! Charlotte 
Delves had pretty hair — and very light ; quite different from this." 

He smiled sadly. 

" You must be inexperienced in the world's ways, my dear, 
if you have believed the present colour of Mrs. Penn's hair to 
be natural. She must have dyed her hair, intending, no doubt, 
to change it to golden : instead of which it has come out of the 
ordeal a blazing vermilion. I think Mrs. Penn is Charlotte 
Delves." 

Little by little, as I comi)ared the j^ast Charlotte Delves with 
the present Mrs. Penn, truth dawned upon me. All that had 
puzzled me in the likeness I could not trace, became clear. 
She had grown older ; she had grown much stouter ; form both 
of figure and face had changed. Mrs. Penn, with a plump face 
and glowing red hair drawn back, was quite another person 
from Miss Delves with a thin face and long fair ringlets 
shading it. 

" You are right," I said, in low, earnest tones. " It is 
Charlotte Delves." 

"And she has been here trying to find out what she can of 
George Heneage. I see it all." 

" But, Mr. Chandos, what is George Heneage to you ? " 

" lie is my brother, Anne. He is George Heneage," he added, 
pointing in the direction of the west wing. 

He George Heneage ! I sat in greater and greater amaze- 
ment. But, as I had traced the likeness in Charlotte Delves, 
so, now that the clue was given me, did I see that the resem- 
blance which had so haunted me in Mr. Chandos, was to the 
George Heneage of that unhappy time. 

" You were but a child, you know, then. And a child's 
remembrance does not retain faces very long." 



GEORGE IIENEAGE. 395 

" But, Mr. Oliauilos, Low can George Heneagc bo your 
brother?" 

" Is it perplexing you ? Soon after the sad time of wliicb 
we know too much, my father, Sir Thomas Hcneage, had a 
hirgc estate — this one — bequeathed to him by Mr. Chandos, my 
mothers brother, on condition that he assumed the name. You 
may be sure we lost no time in doing so — too thankful to drop 
our own, which George had disgraced." 

" Then — his name is no longer George Heneage, but George 
Chandos ? " I said. 

" Strictly speaking, our name is Heneage-Chandos ; and 
Heneage-Chandos we should have been. always styled. But we 
l)referrcd to drop the name of Heneage completely. It may be 
— I don't know — that we shall take it up again hereafter." 

" And where has he been all this time ? " 

" Ah, where ! You may well ask. Leading the life of a 
miserable exile, conscious that Edwin Barley was ever on the 
watch for him, seeking to bring him to trial for the murder of 
Philij) King." 

" Did your brother really do it ? " I asked, in a low tone. 

" In one sense, yes. He killed Philip King, but not inten- 
tionally. So much as this he said to me for the first time only 
two days ago. Were he brought to trial, there could be no 
doubt of his condemnation — and only think of the awful fear 
that has been ours ! You can now understand why I and my 
brother. Sir Thomas, have felt ourselves bound in honour not 
to marry whilst that possible disgrace was hanging over us. 
Ill-fated George ! " 

" Has he been concealed here always ? " 

" That would have been almost imi)ossible," replied Mr. 
Chandos, with a half smile at my sim2:)licity. " He has been 
here only a short time : and no end of stratagems have we had 
to resort to, to conceal the fact. My mother has been coni- 
l)elled to feign illness, and remain in the west wing, that an 
excuse might be aiforded for provisions and things being carried 
up. I have assiuned to you the unenviable character of a sleep- 
walker ; we have suffered the report that my dead father. Sir 
Thomas, haunted the Pine Walk, without contradicting it " 



39fi ANNE HEREFORD. 

" And are you not a sleep-walker ? and is tbcrc no ghost ? " 
I breathlessly interrupted. 

" The only ghost, the only sleep-walker, has been poor 
George," he sadly answered. " You saw him arrive, Anne." 

" I ! " 

" Have you forgotten the night when you saw me — as you 
thought — dodging in and out of the trees, as if I wished to 
escape observation, and finally disappear within the west wing ? 
It was George. The next morning you accused me of having 
boon there ; I knew I had not, and positively denied it. Later 
I found that George had arrived : and then I amused you with 
a fable of my being addicted to sleep-walking. I knew not 
what else to invent ; anything to take suspicion from the 
right quarter ; and I feared you v/ould bo seeing him thero 
again." 

" But is it not very dangerous for him to have ventured 
here ? " 

"Ay. After the misfortune happened he lay a short time 
concealed at Heneage Grange, where we then lived, and 
eventually escaped to the Prussian dominions. We heard 
nothing of him for some time, though we were in the habit of 
remitting him funds periodically for his support. But one 
night he made his appearance here ; it was not long after we 
had settled at Chandos ; startling my mother and Hill almost 
out of their senses. They concealed him in the west wing, and 
Lady Chandos feigned illness and remained in it with him, as 
she has done this time. He did not stay long ; but henceforth 
we could be at no certainty, and took to leaving the lower 
entrance-door of the west wing unfastened at night, so that lie 
miglit enter at once, should ho arrive a second time. Three or 
four times in all has he come, including this time." 

" But it must surely be hazardous ? " 

" Nothing can be more so ; not to sj)eak of the constant state 
of suspense and anxiety it keeps us all in He declares lie is 
obliged to come, or die; that he is attacked with the mnl dn 
fays, the yearning for home, to such an extent tliat when the 
fit comes on him, he is forced to risk it. More daiigerous, too, 
than his actually being here, is his walking out at night in the 



GEORGE IIENP:AGE. S97 

grouuds ; aucl lie will do it in spite of remonstrauce. George 
was always giveu to self-will." 

" Does he walk out ? " 

" Does he '? Why, Anne, need yon ask the question ? Some- 
times at dusk, sometimes not until midnight, at any hour just 
as the whim takes him, out he will go. He has led so restless 
a life that without walking once or twice in the twenty-four 
hours he could not exist. Have you not seen the " ghost " 
yourself more than once ? Were you not terrified by him in 
the corridor? Do you forget the evening when I gathered 
your face to me in the dark walk, v/hilst some one passed ? I 
feared that you should see him — should detect that it was a 
living man, real flesh and blood, not a harmless ghost. Very 
glad were we when the servants, at his first visit, took up the 
theory of a ghost, in place of any more dangerous notion. From 
them it S2)read outside, so that the Chandos ghost has become 
l^ublic rumour and public i:)roperty." 

" Do the servants know that you have this brother ? " 

" Hickens and some of the elder ones of course know it : 
know all he was accused of, and why he went into exile ; but so 
many years have elapsed since, that I feel sure the remembrance 
of him has nearly died out. This visit has been worse for us 
than any, owing to the proximity of Edwin Barley." 

" You think Edwin Barley has been looking out for him ? " 

" Think ! I know it. Something must have arisen to give 
him the idea that George had returned to England, and was in 
hiding : though he could not have suspected Chandos, or he 
A\()uld have had it searched. Many things, that Ave were 
obliged to say and do, appear to have been very foolish, loolc- 
ing back, and they will seem still more so in after years ; but 
they were done in fear. The singular thing is that Mrs. Pcnn 
— being here to find out what she could — should not have hit 
ujion the truth befoi'C." 

" Would Mr. Edwin Barley cause him to be apprehended, do 
you think ? " 

" He will ajiprehend him the very moment that the news 
reaches his ears," spoke Mr. Chandos, lifting his hands in 
agitation. " Living, or — dead, I had all but said — at any rate, 



398 ANNE HEREFORD. 

living or dying, Edwin Barley will seize upon George Heneage. 
I do not say but ho would be justified in doing so." 

" Oh, Mr. Chandos ! Can yon not take liim somewhere for 
escape ? " 

Ho sadly shook his head. " Mo. George is past being taken 
anywhere. He has grown ra2)idly worse. Yesterday I should 
have said his hours were numbered : to-day he is so much 
better that I can only think he has entered on a renewed lease 
of life. At least of some days." 

" What is the matter with him ? " 

" In my opinion it is a broken heart. He has fretted him- 
self away. Think what existence has been for him. In exile 
under a false name ; no home, no comfort, an innocent man's 
death upon his conscience ; and living, whether at home or 
abroad, in the ever-constant dread of being called upon to 
answer publicly for what has been called murder. The doctors 
call his illness a decline. He is a living shadow." 

" And Mrs. Chandos is his wife ! Oh, poor thing, what a life 
of sadness hers must be ! " 

" Mrs. Chandos was his wife ; in one sense of the word is his 
wife still, for she bears his name," he gi'avely answered. " Biit 
I have a word to say to you, Anne, respecting Mrs. Chandos. 
Mrs. Penn — I shall begin to doubt whether every word and 
action of that woman be not false, put forth with some covert 
motive — informed you that Mrs. Chandos was my wife, know- 
ing perfectly well to the contrary. Mrs. Cliandos was never 
n>y wife, Anne, but she was once my love." 

A chill stole over my heart. 

" I met vvith her when she was Ethel Wynne, a lovely, soft- 
mannered girl, and I learned to love her with impassioned 
fervour. We became engaged, and were to be married later : 
I was only two-and-twenty then, she seventeen. She came to 
Hcncagc Grange on a visit, she and her elder sister, since dead. 
Little thought I that my sweet, soft-mannered girl was eaten 
up with ambition. One morning at breakfast a letter was 
brought in to my father. It was from India, and contained 
news of the death of my brother Tom ; which, I need not tell 
you, who know that he is still alive, was j)remature. Cajitain 



GEORGE IIENEAGE. 309 

Hencagc had been in action, tlie letter stated, was desperately 
wouudcd, and taken up for dead. Tom wrote us word after- 
wards that it was only wlion tlicy went to bury him that they 
discovered he was living. But he is given to joking. Well, 
we mourned liim as dead ; and George, in his free, careless 
manner, told Ethel she had better have engaged herself to him 
tlian to me, for that he could make her Lady Heneage, being 
the heir now, which Harry never could. That George had 
always admired her, was certain. He had a weakness for pretty 
women. But for that weakness, and Mrs. Edwin Barley's being 
pretty, PJiilip King might bo alive now." 

Mr. Chandos paused a moment, and then went on in lower 
tones : " Anne, will you believe that in less than two weeks' 
time they had gone away together ? " 

" Who had ? " 

" George Heneage and Ethel Wynne. They had gone away 
to be married. When they returned, man and wife, my mother, 
Lady Heneage, would have refused to receive them, but Sir 
Thomas, ever lenient to us all, persuaded her to do so. A 
marriage entered into as theirs had been v/ould bring sufficient 
punishment in its wake, he observed. The punishment— for 
Ethel, at any rate — had already begun. She liked me best, far 
best, but ambition had temporarily blinded her. She married 
George on the strength of his being heir-apparent to the title, 
and news had now arrived that my brother Thomas was alive, 
and progressing steadily towards health." 

" And you— what did you do ? " I interrupted. 

" 1 hid my bruised feelings, and rode the high horse of in- 
difference ; letting none suppose false Ethel had wounded me. 
The wound was there, and a pretty sharp one ; five fathoms deep, 
though I strove to bury it." He paused an instant, and then 
went on. " In six months' time she and George were tired of 
each other — if appearances might be trusted— and he spent a 
great deal of his time a1)road. Ethel resented it : she said ho 
had no riglit to go out taking pleasure without her: but George 
laughed oif all complaints in his light way. They made their 
home at Heneage Grange, and had been married nearly a year 
when George went on that fatal visit to Mr. Edwin Barley's." 



400 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Thoii — wlien that calamity took place he already had a 
wife ! " I exclaimed in surprise : I suppose because I had never 
heard it at the time. 

" Certainly. The shock to Ethel was dreadful. She believed 
him guilty. Brain-fever attacked her, and she has never been 
quite bright in intellect since, but is worse at times than at 
others. Hers is a disappointed life. She had married George 
in the supposition that he was heir to the baronetcy ; she found 
herself the wife of an exiled man, an accused murderer." 

" Has she been aware of the secret visits of her husband ? " 

" They could not be kept entirely from her. Since the 
calamity, she has never been cordial with him : acquaintances 
they have been, but no more ; it almost seems as though Ethel 
had forgotten that other ties once existed between them. She 
is most anxious to guard his secret ; our only fear has been that 
she might inadvertently betray it. For. this we would have 
concealed from her his presence here as long as might be, but 
she has always found it out and resented it loudly, reproaching 
me and my mother with having no confidence in her. You 
must remember the scene in the corridor when I locked the 
door of your room ; Ethel had just burst into the west wing 
with reproaches, and they, George and my mother, were bring- 
ing her back to her own apartments. She goes there daily 
now, and reads the Bible to him." 

How the things came out — one after the other! 

" And now, Anne, I think you know all ; and will understand 
how, with this terrible sword— George's apprehension — ever 
unsheathed, I could not tell you of my love." 

And what if it did ? Strike or not strike, it would be all 
the same to my simple heart, beating now with its weight of 
happiness. I believe Mr. C'handos could read this in my 
downcast face, for a smile was parting his lips. 

" Is it to be yes in any case, Anne ? " 

" I Perhaps," I stammered. " And then you will tell 

me the truth about yourself. What is it that is really the 
matter with you ? " I took courage to ask, speaking at length 
of tlie fear that always lay upon me so heavily, and which I 
had been forbidden to speak about. 



GEORGE HENEAGE. 401 

"Tlie matter with mc?" 

" The illness that Dr. Amos said you would never recover 
from." 

Mr. ( 'liandos laughed. " Why, Anne, don't you see ? — it 
was my brother George he spoke of, not me. I never had 
anytliing serious the matter with me in my life ; we wiry 
fellows never have." 

Was it so ? Could this great dread be, like the other, a 
myth ? In the revulsion of feeling, my wits momentarily 
deserted me. Pulses were bounding, cheeks were blushing, 
eyes Avere thrilling ; and I looked up at him asking, was it 
true — could it be true ! 

And received my answer for my pains. 

" But I do not quite understand yet," I said, when I could 
free myself from his embrace. " You have looked ill ; especially 
about the time Dr. Amos came." 

" And in one sense I was ill ; ill with anxiety. We have 
lived, you see, Anne, with a constant terror upon us; never 
free from it a moment, by night or by day. When George was 
not here, there was the ever-constant dread of his coming, the 
n-aiching for him as it were ; and now that he is here the dread 
is awful. When George grew woise, and it became necessary 
that some medical man should see him, Dr. Amos was summoned 
to ' Mr. Harry Chandos ; ' and I had a bed made up in the west 
wing, and secluded myself for four-and-twenty hours." 

" Did Dr. Amos think he came to you ? " 

" He thought so. Thought that the sickly, worn-out man 
he saw lying on the sofa in my mother's sitting-room was Mr. 
Harry ('handos. I being all the time closely shut up from 
sight in my temporary chamber. Laken, who has been our 
medical attendant for a great many years, and in our entire 
confidence, was unfortunately away from home, and we had to 
resort to a stratagem. It would not do to let the world or the 
household know that George Heneage was lying concealed at 
Chandos." 

" Then — when Dr. Laken said Lady Chandos was emaciated 
and obstinate, he really spoke of him ? " 

" He did : because you were within hearing. The obstinacy 

Anns Hereford, 26 



402 ANNE HEREFORD. 

relat'jcl to George's persistency iu taking Lis niglit-walks in 
the grounds. It has been a grievous confinement for my 
mother: she went out a niglit or two ago for a stroll at 
dusk, and was unfortunately seen by Mrs. Penn. Hill was 
very cross that Mrs. Penn should have gone near the Pine 
Walk." 

" How much does Madame de Mellissie know of this ? " I 
asked. 

" She was cognizant of the crime George was accused of 
having committed, and that he was in exile. She also knew 
that we always lived in dread of his coming to Chandos ; and 
for that reason did not welcome strangers here." 

" And yet she brought, and left, me ! " 

" But you have not proved a dangerous inmate, my dear one." 

It was kind of him to say that, but I feared I had. That 
Mrs. Penn had contrived to give notice to Edv/in Barley, or 
would contrive it, was only too probable. Once the house 
should be opened in the morning, nothing could prevent her. 
Troubled and fearful, I had not spoken for some minutes, 
neither had he, when Madame de Mellissie's voice was heard 
in the hall, and he left the room. 

She came into it, crossing him on the threshold. Just casting 
an angry and ■ contemptuous glance on me, she ■\^ithdrew, and 
shut the door loudly, coming back again in a short time. 

" Closeted with my brother as usual ! " she began, as if not 
one minute instead of ten had elapsed since seeing me with 
Mr. Chandos. " Why do you put yourself continually in his 
way ? " 

" Did you speak to me, Madame de Mellissie ? " I asked, 
really doubting if the attack could be meant for me. 

" To whom else should I speak ? " she returned, in passionate 
and abrupt tones. " How dare you presume to seek to entangle 
Mr. Harry Chandos ? " 

" I do not understand you, Madame de Mellissie. I have 
never sought to entangle any one." 

" You have ; you know you have," she answered, giving the 
reins to her temper. " The letter I received warned me you 
were doing it, and that brought me over. You and he have 



GEORGE IIENEAGE. 403 

dined siloiic, sat alone, walked alone ; to<^otLcr always. Is it 
seemly that you, a dependent governess, slioidd cast a covetous 
eye U2)on a C'haudos '? " 

My heart was beginning to beat painfully. What defence 
had I to make '? 

" Why did you leave me here, madam ? " 
" Leave you here ! Because it suited my convenience. But 
I left you here as a dependent. I did not expect you to make 
yourself my brother's companion." 

" Stay, Madame de Mellissie. I beg you to reflect a little 
before you reproach me. How could I help being your brother's 
companion, when he chose to make himself mine. This, the oak- 
parlour, was the general sitting-room ; no other was shown to 
me for my use ; was it my fault that Mr. Chandos also made it 
liis ? Could I ask to have my breakfast and dinner served in 
my bed-chamber '? " 

" I don't care," she intemj)erately rejoined. " I say that had 
you not been lost to all sense of the fitness of things, you would 
have kept yourself beyond the notice of Mr. Harry Chandos. 
To-morrow morning you will leave." 

" To whom are you speaking, Emily ? " demanded a quiet 
voice behind us. 

It was his ; it was his. I drew back with a shiver. 

" I am speaking to Anne Hereford," she defiantly answered. 
" Giving her a v/arning of summary ejectment. She has been 
in the house rather too long ! " 

"You might have moderated your tone, at any rate, Emily: 
and jicrliaps v/ould, had you known to whom yoxi were offering 
a gratuitous insult," he said, with admirable calmness. 

" I spoke to Anne Hereford." 

" Yes. And to my future wife." 

The crimson flashed into her boautifid face. " Harry ! " 

" Therefore I must beg of you to treat Miss Hereford 
accordingly." 

" Are you mad, Harry ? " 

'• Perfectly sane, I hope." 

" It cannot be your intention to marry her ? How can you 
think of so degrading yourself ? " 



404 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" You are mistaking the case altogether, Emily. I, and ray 
family with me, will be honoured by the alliance." 

" What on earth do you mean ? " 

A half-smile crossed his face at her wondering look, but ho 
gave no explanation : perhaps the time had not come for it. I 
escaped from the room, and he came after me. 

" Anne, I want you to go with me to the west wing. George 
says he should like to see you." 

I went up with him at once. George Heneage — I shall never 
call him Chandos, and indeed he had never assumed the name 
■ — sat in the same easy-chair propped up with pillows. Mr. 
Chandos put me a seat near, and he took my hands within his 
wasted ones. They called him better. Better ! He, with the 
white, drawn face, the glassy eyes, the laboured breath ! 

" My little friend Anne ! Have you quite forgotten me ? " 

" No ; I have remembered you always, Mr. Heneage. I am 
Borry to see you looking so ill." 

" Better that I should look so. My life is a burden to me, 
and to others. I have prayed to God a long while to take it, 
and I think He has at last heard me. Leave us, Harry, for a 
few minutes." 

I felt half-frightened as Mr. Chandos went out. What could 
he want with me ? — and he looked so near death ! 

" You have retained a remembrance of those evil days? " he 
abruptly began, turning on the pillow to face me. 

" Every remembrance, I think. I have forgotten nothing." 

" Just so : they could but strike forcibly on a child's heart. 
Well, ever since Harry told me that it was you who were in 
this house, a day or two back now, I have thought I must see 
you at the last. I should not like to die leaving you to a 
wrong impression. You have assumed, with the rest of the 
world, that I murdered Philip King ? " 

I hesitated, really not knowing what to say. 

" But I did not murder him. The shot from my gun killed 
him, but not intentionally. As Heaven, soon to be my judge, 
hears me, I tell you the truth. Philip King had angered me 
very much. As I saw him in the distance smoking a cigar, his 
back against the ti^ee, I pointed ray gun at him, and put my 



GEORGE HENEAGE. 405 

finger ou tlic trigger, saying, ' How I sLould like to \nii a shot 
into yoii ! ' Without meaning it — without meaning it, the gun 
went oft", Anne : my elbow caught against the branch of a tree, 
and it went oft" and shot him. I had rather — yes, even then — 
that it had shot myself." 

" But why did you not come forward and say so, Mr. Heneage ? " 

" Because the fact jiaralyzcd me, making me both a fool and 
a coward, and the moiiient for avowal passed for ever. I would 
have given my own life to xmdo my work and restore that of 
Philip King. It was too late. All was too late. So I have 
lived on as I best could, hiding myself from the law, an exile 
from my country, my wife a stranger ; regarded by the world 
as a murderer, liable to be called ujion at any moment to expiate 
it, and witli a man's death upon my soul. Over and over again 
would I have given myself uj), but for the disgrace it would 
bring to my family." 

" I thought it might be an accident, Mr. Heneage — have 
always thought so," I said, with a sigh of relief. 

" Thank God, yes ! But the wicked wish had been there, 
though uttered in reckless sport. Oh, child, don't you see how 
glad I shall be to go ? Christ has w-ashed away sins as red as 
mine. Not of my sins, comparatively speaking, has the care 
lain heavily upon me night and day ; but of another's." 

Did he mean Selina's ? " Of whose, sir ? " 

" Philip King's. I gave him no time for i)rayer. There's a 
verse in the Bible, Anne, that has brought me comfort at times," 
he whispered, with feverish eagerness, gazing at me with his 
earnest, yearning eyes. " When the disciples asked of the 
Redeemer who then can be saved, there came in answer the 
loving words, ' With men this is impossible, but with God all 
things are possible.' " 

He might not have said more ; I don't know ; but Hill came 
in to announce Dr. Laken. Her face of astonishment when she 
saw me sitting there was ludicrous to behold. George Heneage 
wrung my hand as I left him. 

" You see, Hill, I am allowed to come even here," I could not 
help saying, in a sort of triumph, as she held the green-baizo 
door open for me. 



406 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Hill returned a defiant grunt by way of answer, and I brushed 
past Dr. Lakon as be came along the gallery with another 
gentleman, who was dressed in the garb of a clergyman. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

AN IGNOMINIOUS EXIT. 



The windows were thrown open to the bright morning air ; the 
late autumn birds were singing, the trees were gently waving ; 
even the gloomy Pine Walk opposite had a ray of sunlight on 
it. Little thought I as I stood in the oak-parlour with my 
great happiness, little thought the servants as they went about 
their work, that one lay dead in the west wing. 

Breakfast waited on the table ; the postman came with the 
letters ; Hickens looked in to see if he might bring in the urn. 
He waited on us far more than the rest did, although he was 
butler, knowing that Mr. C'handos liked it. 

A stir in the hall at last : Mrs. Penn's voice speaking to 
Lizzy Dene. The tones were low, but they reached my ear. 

" I cannot think you delivered that letter last evening, Lizzy. 
I ought to have received an answer long before this." 

" Not deliver it, ma'am ! " returned Lizzy, with every sound 
of surprise. " I gave it in to the young man at the door." 

" Wait a moment, Lizzy : what a hurry you are in ! Arc 
you sure Mr. Edwin Barley was at home '? " 

" Of course I am not sure," returned Lizzy : and I pictured 
Mrs. Penn to myself at that moment : her cheeks flushing red, 
her eyes flashing fire. 

" You deceitful woman ! You told me last night Mr. Edwin 
Barley was at home ! " 

" Ma'am, I told you the young man said he was at home. I 
can't stay here a minute longer : if Hill finds me gossiping, 
she'll be fit to pull my ears for me." 

A slight rustling in the portico. I looked from the window 
and saw Mrs. Penn flying away as speedily as middle-aged, 



AN IGNOMINIOUS EXIT. 407 

portly women can .fly. Mr. Cliandos came into the room at tlio 
same time. 

" How is yonr brother, Mr. Chandos ? " 

" Better, I trust, than he has been for many years in this life. 
It is over, Anne. He died at twelve last night." 

The words struck on me as a great shock. Over ! Dead ! 

" He was sensible to the last moment. It was a hapjiy death," 
continued Mr. C'handos, in low, solemn tones. " Truly may it 
bo said that he has ' come out of great tribulation.' God receive 
and bless him ! " 

I sat down. Mr. Chandos turned over the letters in an 
abstracted sort of manner, but did not really look at them. 
When I thought I might venture to speak, I mentioned Mrs. 
Penn's reproach to Lizzy Dene, and her running oif afterwards 
(there was no doubt about it) to Mr. Edwin Barley. 

" Ay, I saw her go," he replied. " The answer she has been 
waiting for were the police, on their mission to arrest my 
brother George. They may come now. And presently will do 
so," he added, " for I have sent for them." 

" For the police again ! What for ? " 

He made no answer. Emily came in, looking as he did, 
rather subdued. She spoke civilly to me : with death in a 
liouse people keep down their temper. Mr. Chandos rang the 
bell for breakfast, and then we all stood at the window. 

" Where's Dr. Laken ? " asked Emily. 

" Gone out," replied Mr. Chandos. " He breakfasted early." 

" How unfortunate it is that I should have arrived just now ! " 
she exclaimed, after a pause, during which we were all silent. 
'■' The carriages must not go out, I suppose, for the next few 
days." 

" 111 doing is sure to bring' its own punishment, Emily," Mr. 
Chandos said to her, jestingly, with a sad smile. " You should 
not have run away." 

" We shall have Alfred over after me, I expect. His gastric- 
fever will politely vanish when it is necessary that his wife 
should be looked up. But I am gJad that I was here, Harry, 
after all," she added, her voice changing to one of deejicr 
feeling, " for it enabled me to see the last of him." 



408 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" I am glad that he was here," observed Mr. Chandos, " for it 
afforded the opportunity of his receiving comforts and attend- 
ance in his illness that ho could not have had abroad. Now 
that the dread of his being discovered has passed away, I see 
how certainly all things were for the best." 

"He stayed here a long while this time." 

" He was too ill to leave. We could not urge it. The end 
seemed rapidly and surely api^roaching." 

" Do you call his illness consumption ? " 

"Not the consumption that attacks most people. If ever 
man died of a broken heart, George has done so." 

" Did he come home to die ? I mean, knov/ing that he was 
soon about to die ? " 

" No. He was weak and emaciated when he arrived, worn to 
a shadow ; but he did not become really ill, dangerously ill, 
until afterwards." 

" Do the servants know of it ? " she asked, lowering her voice. 
" Will they be told of it ? " 

" Certainly not. We hope to keep it private to the end." 

" But there must be " 

"Yes, yes," he hastily interrupted, seeing she would have 
alluded to the funeral. "Laken manages all that. What a 
bright morning it is 1 " 

Mr. Chandos leaned from the window as if to turn the con- 
versation. Emily, easily swayed, jilucked a piece of mignonette. 

" I suppose mamma will come downstairs to-day. Well, it's 
time she did." 

" It is," asserted Mr. Chandos. 

" For more reasons than one," she tartly added, as a lance- 
shaft at me. 

Hickcns came in with the urn. Seeing the letters lying 
there untouched, he spoke with the familiarity of a privileged 
servant. 

" The Indian mail is in, sir." 

Mr. Chandos turned quickly to the table. " I see it is, 
Hickens." But I don't think lie had seen it until then. 

" I suppose there's nothing for me from Alfred," said Madame 
de Mellissie, languidly looking round. " I am not anxious to 



AN IGNOMINIOUS EXIT. 409 

read it if tlicre is : it would ouly be full of lameutations and 
scolding. Or from Tom, either? He never writes to me." 

Mr. C'Landos shook his head. " There's only one from Tom, 
and tliat is to me." 

" But I see another Indian letter," she said, slowly approach- 
ing the table. " It has a black seal." 

" Not from Thomas. It is in a strange handwriting, and is 
addressed to my mother." 

" Any letters for my lady, sir 'i " asked Hill, entering the 
room. 

" Two. One of them from India, tell her ; but not from Sir 
Thomas." 

Hill retreated with the letters. Emily placed herself in my 
seat at the head of the table, and we began breakfast. It was 
a silent meal for all of us that morning. Mr. Chandos drank 
his coffee quickly, and opened his brother's letter. 

" They were on the eve of action, Emily," he presently said. 
" Just going into it when Thomas wrote this. Some local 
engagement." 

" Is it well over ? " 

" I hope so. But he closed this letter at once. Here is what 
he says in conclusion : ' I shall drop this into the post now, and 
if I come out of the tui-moil safely, give you a second note to 
say so. That is, if the jjost should not have gone : if it has, 
you must wait another fortnight.' Where's the evening paper'? " 
added Mr. Chandos, seeking out a newspaper which had come 
with the letters, and opening it. " News of this action, however 
unimportant it was, ought to have come by telegraph." 

He had scarcely said this when Hill came in, speaking and 
looking like one in alarm. I thought of the police ; I fancy 
Mr. Chandos did. 

" Sir — Mr. Harry — my lady wishes you to come to her 
instantly." 

He appeared aroused by the tone— or the looks — and went 
Gilt at once, opening the newspaper as he did so. Madame do 
Mellissie demanded of Hill what he was wanted for. 

"I hardly know, ma'am. Something very sad, I fear, has 
happened." 



410 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Emily started to her feet. " Hill, that letter never contained 
bad news from India '? — fi-om Sir Thomas ? " 

" It has bad news of some sort in it, for certain," was Hill's 

^rejoinder. " My lady gave a scream before she had read three 

lines, and said some confused words about her ' darling son 

Thomas.' The fear lapon me, ma'am, is, that he has been hurt 

in battle." 

Worse than that ! It came upon me v/ith a prevision as I 
thought of the black seal and the strange handwriting. Emily, 
impulsive in all she did, went running uj) to the west wing. 
Whilst I waited alone for them to return with some news, good 
or bad, I heard Mrs. Penn come in and accost Lizzy Dene, who 
was rubbing the brasses in the hall. 

" Where is the letter I gave you last night ? " she curtly 
demanded, her tones very sharp. 

" Why, ma'am, what's the use of asking me ? " returned the 
undaunted Lizzy, after a faint pause. " Mr. Edwin Barley's 
people must know more about that." 

" The letter you delivered was not my letter." 

" Not your letter ! " repeated Lizzy Dene, evidently affecting 
the most genuine surprise. " I don't know what you mean, 
ma'am." 

" The letter you left at Mr. Edwin Barley's, instead of being 
the one I handed to you, was some rubbishing circular of the 
fashions. How dared you do such a thing ? " 

" My goodness me ! " exclaimed Lizzy. " To think of that ! 
But Mrs. Penn, it's not possible." 

" Don't talk to me about its not being possible ! You have 
been wilfully careless. I niiist have my letter produced." 

" I declare to goodness I don't know where it is, or what has 
become of it, if — as you say, ma'am — it was not the one I gave 
in to the young man," spoke Lizzy, this time with real earnest- 
ness. " I had a letter about the fashions in my basket ; bi;t it's 
odd I could make such a mistake." 

" You did make it," Mrs. Penn angrily rejoined. " Where is 
the letter now ? " 

" Ma'am, I can't imagine. It must have been spirited away." 

•' ii'on't talk nonsense to me about being ' spirited away.' If 



AN IGNOJIINIOUS EXIT. 411 

you gave in tlic one for tlic otlicr, you must still Lave Lad my 
letter left in your basket. WLat did you do with it ? " 

" If you ottered mo a tliousand pounds to tell, I couldn't," 
was Lizzy's answer. " Looking upon it as notLing but a letter 
of tlie fasLions, I tliougLt it was of no moment, else I remember 
opening my basket after leaving Mr. Barley's, and seeing tLere 
was nothing in it. I wondered tLen wLat could Lave gone with 
tLe fasLions. I'm sure, ma'am, I am very sorry." 

Mrs. Penn went upstairs. It was aj)parently a profitless 
inquiry. Lizzy Dene rubbed away again at her brasses, and 
I waited and waited. The servants began to stand about in 
groups, coming perpetually into the hall ; tLe rumour that 
something was wrong in India had spread to them. Ey-and-by 
the truth was brought down by Hill, with great tears U2)on her 
face. Sir Thomas Chandos was de;id. 

It was not a false report, as had once come, of his death. Ali, 
no. He had fallen in battle, gallantly leading his men to the 
cliarge. The Commander-in-Chief in India had written to 
Lady Chandos with his own Land : Le said Low mucL Ler son 
was regretted, and tLat all tLe officers wLo could be spared Lad 
attended tLe funeral. A sLot Lad struck Lim in tLe breast. 
He Lad but time to say a few words, and died. Lis motLer's 
name being tLe last ujion Lis lips. 

Hickens entered tLe oak-j)arlour and drew dovm tLe wLite 
blinds. WLilst talking of Sir TLomas Le bui'st into tears. It 
all proved to me how much Thomas Chandos had been liked 
by those about him. 

The breakfast things were taken away ; an hour passed, and 
the morning was growing weary, when Mr. Chandos came down, 
traces of emotion on his face. Alas ! he was no longer " Mr." 
but Sir Harry Chandos. 

The first person I heard give him his title was Dr. Laken. 
How strange it was ! Had the news arrived only the previous 
morning, the title must have remained in abej\ance. Poor, 
banned, dying George had been heir to it by right of birth ; 
but I suppose thC' law would not liave given it to him. Dr. 
Laken called Mr. Chandos " Sir Harry " three or four times in 
the presence of tLe servants very jjointedly. I tLougLt Le 



412 ANNE HEREFORD. 

wanted to iiui)ress upon tliem the fact that no intervening heir 
existed. It was all very strange : those blinds that they had 
not dared to draw down for George, the grief they had not liked 
to show, the mourning they might have been doubtfid whether 
to assume ; all did duty for both brothers now, and might bo 
open and legitimate. 

" I think the shadow of death had fallen upon Thomas when 
he wrote," said Mr. Chandos, in low tones. And Dr. Laken 
echoed the words questioningly, 

" The shadow of death ? " 

" I mean a jn-evision of it. Throughout his letter to me a 
vein of sadness runs ; and he concludes it, ' Farewell, Harry ; 
God bless you ! ' He never so wrote before. You shall read 
the letter, Laken : my mother has it now." 

Lady Chandos had been coming down that day, they said ; 
but the news had stopped it, and she would not now be seen 
until the morrow. The morning went on. Two ofScial-looking 
persons came, and were taken by Dr. Laken to the west wing. 
I gathered that it had something to do with identification, in 
case there should be any doubt afterwards of the death : both 
of them had known George Heneage in the days gone by. 

The blinds were down throughout the house. Every room 
was gloomy. Madame de Mellissie evidently foimd it so, and 
came in listlessly to the oak-parlour. She seemed very cross : 
perhaps at seeing her brother there ; but he had only come to 
it a miniite before. 

" Harry, I suppose Chandos will be looking up again, and 
taking its j^art in county gaieties after a while — as it never has 
done yet ? " 

" Yes," he answered ; " after a while." 

" It would not be a bad plan for me to reside here occasion- 
ally as its mistress. Mamma goes back to the old Heneagj 
homestead : she always intended to do so, if this crisis came in 
poor George's life, leaving you here to manage the estate for 
Thomas. And now it is yours, to manage for yourself. What 
changes ! " 

" Changes indeed ! I wish I could be manager for him 
Btill." 



AN IGNOMINIOUS EXIT. 413 

" You will want a mistress for it ; and I phall l)c glad to 
escape at times from home. I grow sick and tired of Paris." 

" IMauy thanks, Emily, but the future mistress of C'handos is 
already besi^oken." 

Her fair face flushed ; and there was a tart ring in her voice 
when she spoke again. 

" Do you forget that your position is changed ? When you 
gave me that hint last evening, you were, comparatively speak- 
ing, an obscure individual ; now you are Sir Harry Chandos, 
powerful, and a wealthy baronet." 

What he answered, I know not. There was a smile on his 
face as I left the room and strolled outside. The sound of 
approaching footsteps caused me to look down the avenue, and 
the look sent me running in again. Two of the police who 
had been there before were approaching on foot. 

" I have been waiting for them," said IMr. Chandos, quietly. 
I cannot get quite at once into the way of calling him anything 
else. " Emily, will you oblige me by going up to Mrs. 
Chandos, and make some excuse for taking her into the Avcst 
wing at once. You can remain here, or go to another room, as 
you like, Anne." 

I went up to my chamber. Madame de Mellissie was already 
passing along the gallery, her arm linked within that of Mrs. 
Chandos. Mrs. Penn advanced to the well of the staircase and 
saw the police. A glow of triumph overspread her whole face. 

" Sooner here than I thought for ! " she exclaimed. " You 
will see something now, Anne Hereford." 

They came up the stairs, Mr. Chandos with them. Mrs. 
Penn retreated to the door of the east wing, but she could not 
resist the temptation of standing at it to look. They went 
towards her. 

" Not here," she said, waving her hand in the direction of 
the west wing. The person for whom your visit is intended 
is there." 

" Pardon me, madam," interposed Mr. Chandos ; " the visit 
of these officers is to you." 

" To me ! What do you mean ? " she asked, after » pause, 
her voice rising to a shriek. 



414 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Novel- did I sco a change so great come over a human 
coiintciiauc:?. They all retreated into the east wing, and the 
door was closed. What took place I learnt later. 

In the most courteous manner possible, consistent with the 
circumstances, Mr. Cliandos explained to Mrs. Penn why the 
police had come for her. He had reason to believe that slie 
was the person who had been disturbing the tranquillity of 
Chandos, he said. When she had offered her boxes for search 
before, he had declined to permit them to be touched : he must, 
much as he regretted the necessity, order them to be searched 
now. All this we heard later. Mrs. Penn was taken aback. 
What she said, never transpired : resistance would have been 
simjily foolish ; and she made up for it by insolence. The 
police quietly did their duty ; and found amjjle proof : a few 
skeleton keys, that would open any lock in the house. Her 
own lace was there ; Mr. Chandos's memorandum-book. She 
had come into the house to spy ; feverishly hoping to find out 
the abiding-place of George Hen cage. 

Her bitter animosity against him had only grown with years. 
An accidental circumstance had brought to her a suspicion that 
George Heneage's hiding-place was in England ; and she had 
laid her plans and entered Chandos with the full intention of 
discovering it. My iiresence there had somewhat baffled her : 
she could not go peeping about in my sight ; she took Mr. 
Chandos's private book from his desk in the hope tliat it might 
help her to the discovery she had at heart, and then invented 
the story of losing her lace to divert the scent from herself. 
Later, she conceived another scheme — that of getting me out of 
the house ; and she stole the money to put it into my box ; and 
arranged the supposed opening of her reticule in my room, and 
the reading of her sealed letter ; and abstracted the letter I had 
put on the hall-table, hoping Mr. Chandos would fall into the 
trap and send me from ( 'handos. Now coidd be understood her 
former anxiety that the police should search her boxes and 
mine ; h»rs were ready for the inspection, mine had the money 
in them ; and, at that time (as I knew later), also the 
memorandum-book. Something else v/as found in her boxes 
besides skeleton keys— a grey cloak. Putting one thing Avith 



AN IGNOMINIOUS EXIT. 415 

another, Mr. Cliandos tliouglit lie had little need of further 
Bpeculatiou as to who had stoi)i)ed his horse in the avenue that 
niglit, and caused his fall from it. And the reason may as well 
be mentioned here, though it is anticipating our knowledge of 
it. She had lingered about the private groves of Chandos until 
du«k tliat afternoon, hoping to see Mr. Edwin Barley, whoso 
Jiouse she was forbidden ; in going forth at length, openly, 
having put her cloak on because she was cold — and how it was 
Hill had not seen it on her arm when talking with her in the 
portico, was a mystery, for she had brought it to Chandos, left 
it in the hall there, and taken it upon her departure — in going 
down the avenue she met Mr. Chandos riding nj) it. She had 
never before seen him, and she took him in the dusk for his 
brother. She actually thought she W'as encountering George 
Heneage ; and the noise with which she approached the horse 
and flung up her arms, was not intended to frighten the animal, 
but simi)ly to express execration, in her great surprise. At the 
same moment, even as it escaped her, she discovered her mis- 
take, and that it was not George Heneage. 

" Now, madam," said Mr. Chandos, the search over, the proofs 
in the oflicers' hands, " what have you to urge as a reason why 
I should not give you into custody? You have been living 
in my mother's house under false colours ; you have rifled 
locks ; you have taken my money ; you liave been writing 
anonymous letters, and carrying tales to Mr. Edwin Barley." 

" All that I have done I was justified in doing," she answered, 
braving it out. " I was at work in your house as a detective : 
my acts bore but one aim — the discovery of your brother, the 
murderer. And I have succeeded. In an hour's time from 
this, perhaps, the tables will be turned. As to your money, 
Mr. Chandos, it is wrapped up in paper and directed to you. 
I don't steal money." 

" What palliation have you to oftcr for your conduct? — what 
excuse to urge against my giving yon into custody ? " repeated 
Mr. Chandos. 

"If you choose to do it, do it," she returned. " Some one of 
far greater import than I will be shortly taken into custody 
from this house. I am of the kin of the Barleys : you and they 



416 ANNE HEREFORD. 

arc iin})lacablc enemies : all stratagems arc fair wlicn the dis- 
covery of criminals, hiding from the law, is in question. 1 
have only done my duty ; I would do it again. Give me into 
custody if you like, Mr. Chandos. The tables will soon be 
turned." 

"No, they will not be turned in the sense you would in- 
sinuate, and for that reason I can atford to be generous," 
answered Mr. Chandos. " Had real harm come of this matter, 
I would have prosecuted you to the utmost rigour of the law. 
But, as it is beyond your power now, or Mr. Edwin Barley's 
either, to do us harm, you may go from us scot-free. But I 
cannot allow you to remain longer at Chandos. Forgive the 
seeming inhospitality, if I say I would prefer that you should 
not wait to partake of another meal in the house. Your things 
shall be sent after you. Or, if you prefer to gather them 
together, these officers will wait whilst you do it, and then 
escort you from my house into that of Mr. Edwin Barley." 

" I will not be escorted abroad by police-ofiicers," she pas- 
sionately answered. 

" You possess no choice, madam. I have, so far, given you 
into their charge : and they will take care to undertake it." 

A very short time seemed to suffice to put her things 
together, and Mrs. Penn came forth, attended by the two officers. 
In some mood of reckless defiance, or perhaps to conceal herself 
as much as possible from the gaze of the world, she had put on 
the grey cloak and drawn the hood over her head. 

Mr. Chandos recognized her at once, as she had looked that 
night. He could but be a gentleman, and had gone out to the 
hall in courtesy when she came down to depart. The sight of 
her thus startled him for a moment. 

" Ah, I should have known you anywhere, Mrs. Penn. What 
had I or my horse done to you that you should attack us ? " 

She turned and faced him. It really seemed as though phe 
believed herself in the right in all the past acts, and felt proud 
to have done so well. All this time, it must be remembered, she 
supposed George Heneage was alive in the west wing, and 
would soon be taken from it to a criminal prison. She could 
afford to make concessions now, 



AN IGNOMINIOUS EXIT. 417 

" It was not you or your horse I attacked intentionally. I 
mistook you for another. For that brother of yours, Mr. 
( 'handos, whose liberty will soon be put beyond jeopardy, and 
his life after it. Your great likeness to George Heneage, us 
he looked in those old days at Hallam, is unfortunate. For one 
tiling, it has caused me to hate you ; when, to speak candidly, 
1 think in yourself there is not much to hate. You " — turning 
her flashing eyes on the men — " are seeing me out of the house 
because I have acted my jxart efiectually in it ; a part that Sir 
Richard Mayne himself would say I was justified in playing ; 
but there is a greater criminal concealed above, for whom a 
warrant is, as I cxjject, already in force." 

" You are wrong," said Mr. Chandos. " Were the whole 
establishment of Scotland Yard to make their apjiearance here, 
each with a warrant in his hand, they would scarcely execute 
it. It has been a long, a weary, and a wearing battle : Edwin 
Barley against George Heneage : but God has shown Himself 
on the side of mercy." 

The words puzzled her a little. "Has he escaped?" she 
fiercely asked. " Has he left the house V " 

" He has not left it, Mrs, Peuu ; he is in the west wing." ' 

Slie threw up her head with a glow of triumph, and walked 
rapidly away down the broad walk, the j^olicemen escorting ier. 

Standing at tlie back of the hall in utter amazenient, partly 
at seeing Mrs. Penn go forth at all, partly at the object she 
presented in the grey cloak, was Lizzy Dene. " Miss," she 
said to me, as I stood just inside the great dining-room, " I 
should say she must have been the one to frighten Black Knave 
that night." 

" Perhaps she was, Lizzy. Her cloak is grey." 

An impulse came over me that I Avould ask Lizzy Dene the 
motive of her suspicious conduct in the past. Now that the 
culprit had turned out to bo Mrs. Penn, Lizzy Dene must have 
been innocent. Stepping within the large dining-room, I asked 
her there and then. 

" Ah," said she, throwing up her hands, a habit with her 
when annoyed or in pain, " I don't mind telling now. I was 
in trouble at that time." 

Anne Ilerefurd. 27 



418 ANNE HEREFORD. 

'- What do you mean, Lizzy ? " 

" I Lave a brother, miss ; as steady, well-meaning a man as 
you'd wish to see," she answered, " He came into this neigh- 
boiirhood in search of work, he and his wife ; and a fine worry 
he has had with her, on and off. She's wild ; if there's a wake 
or a dance within ten miles, she must be off after it : and at 
times she has been seen the worse for drink. Not that you'd 
think it, to look at her ; she's a pretty, neat, jaunty young 
woman ; never a pleasanter than she when she chooses. Well, 
try as he would, ho couldn't get work in these parts, except an 
odd job now and again : and you know, miss, when everything 
is going out, and nothing's coming in, it doesn't take long for 
any few pounds that may have been saved in an old stocking, 
to come to an end." 

" That's true enough, Lizzy." 

" Theirs did. And what should they do when all was gone 
but come to me to hel]) them. I did it. I helped them till I 
was tired, till I could help no longer. She, it was, mostly that 
asked ; he'd never have begged a sixpence from me but when 
driven to it by sheer want. She pestered my very life out, 
coming here continually, and when I told her I had no more 
money to give, and it was of no use asking for it, then she 
prayed for broken victuals. Things had got very low with 
them. ' Who's that woman that's always creeping here after 
Lizzy Dene ! ' the servants said. ' Who's that man that we see 
her with ! ' they'd say again. And I did not choose to say who. 
Both of them had got very shabby then ; and he, what with the 
ill luck and her conduct, had been seen twice in drink. My 
lady is excessively particular that the servants she has about, 
her shall belong to respectable people ; Hill is always on the 
watch ; and what I feared was that I might be turned from my 
place. It was not a pleasant life for me, miss." 

I thouglit it could not have been. 

" One afternoon — the same that the accident occurred to Mr. 
Chandos — Tilda had been up to the house, begging as usual. 
She vowed, if I would not relieve her with either money or food, 
to do some damage to the family : but I paid no attention to 
her, and wouldn't give her anything. After she was gone, I 



AN IGNOMINIOUS EXIT. 419 

kei)t thinking over wliat she had said — that she'd do some 
damage to the family — and I got right down frightened, lest 
she should put her threat in force. What if she should fire 
one of the haystacks, or poison the poultry? — all sorts of 
horrors I kept on imagining. I begged some cold meat of the 
cook, inventing a story of a poor sick family, and collected 
some broken bits of bread, with a pinch of tea, and ran out 
with it all in a basket, at the dusk hour. They were lodging 
in one of the lanes close by ; and when I got there I found 
Tilda had not been in. I couldn't stop ; I gave the things to 
John, and told him he must keei^ Tilda away or I should lose 
my place ; he promised he'd do what he could, but added that I 
knew as well as he did how little she'd be ruled. In hurrying 
back through the avenue, with my basket, 1 came xii^on Mr. 
Chandos lying thei'e ; you were standing by him. Miss, when 
I heard what had happened, as true as that we are here, I was 
afraid that she had done it. I went back and taxed her with it ; 
she had come in then, but was sullen, and would not say yes or 
no. I was frightened out of my senses for fear it should come 
out ; and I tried to lay it upon the gipsies. But the next day, 
when her temper came to her, she vowed and protested that 
she'd had nothing to do with it. I thought then it really was 
the gipsies, and wished to bring it home to them. That's the 
whole truth, miss, as I'm here living at this moment." 

"And what Avere you doing in my room that night, Lizzy V " 

" What night, miss ? " 

" When I surprised you, and you a2)i)earcd so confused. The 
excuse you made was that you were looking for the ghost." 

"And so I was looking for it, miss," she answered : " I was 
doing nothing else. One of the girls had said the ghost was 
abroad that night, and I thought I'd look. Between Tilda and 
the ghost my time was a bad one just then. I'm sure I was 
thankful when she and John left these parts. He ha s got work 
at the malting in a distant town, and they are doing well. I 
wish the ghost could be got rid of as easily." 

If Lizzy Dene had only known how utterly the i)oor ghost 
had gone out of the world for ever ! Would Chandos ever lose 
its belief in it '? 



420 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" I have told yoii this, miss, because I thought you seemed 
to suspect me ; and I didn't deserve it. I'm true to the family, 
to the backbone, miss ; and so I always will be. My lady has 
confidence in me ; she has known me a long while." 

The explanation over, Lizzy Dene left me. I crossed the 
hall to enter the oak-parlour just in time to see Hickens ojien 
the front-door to a visitor, and to hear a colloquy. My heart 
seemed to shrink within me at the voice, for it was Mr. Edwin 
Barley's. What could have brought him to the house, boldly 
inquiring for its inmates ? 

It appeared that Mrs. Penn, on her stealthy visit to his house 
that morning, had not seen him. Upon inquiring for Mr. Barley, 
she was told lie had gone out betimes, shooting. The informa- 
tion took her aback. Go out shooting, when his enemy, for 
whom he had been searching night and day these ten years, was 
close at hand, waiting to be ai)prehended ! And she forthwith 
accused the footman of not delivering to his master the note 
left at the house the previous uight, upon which she had the 
pleasure of hearing that the note was duly delivered to Mr. 
Edwin Barley, and turned out to be a circular about the 
fashions. All she could do then was to write a few lines, 
giving him the information about George Heneage, with a 
charge that it should be j^ut into Mr. Barley's hands the instant 
he set foot in the house. But Mr. Barley did not return to it 
quickly. The birds were shy that day. 

Later, when he was at length going home, his gun in one 
hand and a brace of pheasants in the other, he encountered a 
procession. Turning out at the lodge-gates came Mrs. Penn, 
one policeman walking by her side, another behind ; and, follow- 
ing on, Mrs. Bonn's luggage in a truck propelled by a man in 
the C'handos livery. Mr. Edwin Barley naturally stopped ; 
although he had not been on good terms with Mrs. Penn for 
some years ; and inquired the meaning of what he saw. 

"You are the only relative I have left in the world, Mr. 
Edwin Barley ; will you, as such, suffer this indignity to be 
put upon me ? " were the first words she sjioke. And he, thus 
called upon, turned in his haughty, menacing manner on the 
officers. 



AN IGNOMINIOUS EXIT. 421 

" What in the iiieauiug of this ? Uuliuiid the huly ! Why 
are you guarding her in that ofteusive manner V " 

" We have orders, sir, to see the lady safely away from 
Chandos." 

" Who gave you the orders ? " 

" Mr. Chandos." 

Mr. Edwin Barley said something about making Mr. Chandos 
retract his orders before the day was over ; but the men Avero 
not to be intimidated. 

" The lady has not been behaving on the square, sir, and wo 
thought at first she would be given into custody. But Mr. 
C'handos considered it over ; and said, as she had been able to 
do no great harm, he'd let her go." 

Mr. Edwin Barley looked to Mrs. Pcnn for an explanation. 
Instead of giving it, she whispered in his ear the information 
about Geoi'ge Heneage. For the first time for years, Mr. Edwin 
Barley's face was moved with powerful emotion. 

" What do you say ? " he asked, in his surprise and bewilder- 
ment. 

" What I say is sufiiciently j^lain : George Heneage, the 
murderer of your ward, the indirect murderer of your wife, is 
in concealment at Chandos," said Mrs. Penn, rather tragically. 
" The mysteries of that west wing have been cleared to mo. 
Anne Hereford penetrated to it yesterday for some purpose of 
her own, and saw him : an emaciated being she described him, 
bearing a striking resemblance to Harry Chandos. Now what 
do you say to my having entered the hoi;se as a detective, Mr. 
Edwin Barley? And it is for having i)ursued my investigations 
that Mr. Chandos has turned me forth in this ignominious 
manner." 

Mr. Edwin Barley drew in his lijis. She said not a word, bo 
it understood, of the illegitimate mode in which she had i)ursued 
the said investigation. He turned matters rapidly over in his 
mind, and then addressed the jioliceman. 

"What were you intending to do with this lady?" 

" Our orders were to see her into your house, sir. Nothing 
more." 

" My mission iu this part of tho world is over," interrupted 



422 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Mrs. Penu ; " I shall leave it for London this afternoon. Until 
then, say for an hour or two, I shall be glad to find a shelter in 
your house, Mr. Edwin Barley." 

" Very good. After that you are at liberty, I presume, to 
take orders from me?" he added to the officers. And they 
signified they were, if he had any to give. 

" You can then follow me to Chandos. Stay outside the 
house, and be ready to obey the signal I shall give you. Be 
prepared to take into custody a criminal who has heeu c-vading 
the law for years, and who will probably make a desperate 
resistance. What do you say? No warrant? Nonsense. I 
am in the commission of the peace, and will absolve you of any 
consequences." 

Laying his gun and birds on the luggage, Mr. Edwin Barley 
turned to Chandos. The policemen, who had not the remotest 
intention of quitting their prisoner until they had seen her 
within Mr. Barley's doors, continued their way there. Thus 
it happened : and the voice of Edwin Barley demanding to see 
Lady Chandos greeted my dismayed ears as I crossed the hall. 
Why he should have asked for Lady Chandos, he himself best 
knew : the demand was an imperative one. 

"My lady cannot be seen, sir," was the reply of Hickens. 
" She is better, I hear ; but she is not yet out of her rooms. 
Sir Harry is within." 

" Who do you say is within ? " cried Mr. Edwin Barley, 
probably thinking his ears might deceive him. 

" Sir Harry Chandos." 

" Sir Harry," repeated Mr. Edwin Barley, wondering doubt- 
less whether Hickens had lost his senses. " What do you mean 
by calling him that ? " 

" I call him nothing but what's right, sir. He is Sir 
Harry now, unfortunately : that is unfortunately for poor Sir 
Thomas. News came this morning, sir, that Sir Thomas has 
been killed in battle. We have got the house shut up for 
him." 

Mr. Edwin Barley stejiped backwards, and looked at the 
white blinds, closely drawn behind the windows. The tidings 
took him by surprise. Having gone out shooting before the 



AN IGNOMINIOUS EXIT. 423 

letters and papers were deliverecl, he was in ignorance of the 
morning's news. 

" I am sorry to hear it," he said. " It is an additional bh)W 
for Lady Chandos ; and she does not need it. Sir Tliomas was 
the best of the tlirce sons : I liad no grudge against liini. But 
Mr. Harry Chandos does not take tlic title, my man." 

" Oh yes, he does, sir. He is now Sir Harry Chandos." 

" I tell you wo," returned Mr. Edwin Barley, with a grim 
smile. " He is just as much Sir Harry Chandos as I am : it is 
not he who comes into the title. Let it pass, however." 

" Did you want him, sir ? " inquired Hickens, quitting at once 
the controversy, like a well-trained servant. 

" I do. But I would very much have preferred to see Lady 
Chandos first." 

" That is quite out of the question, sir," concluded Hickens, 
as he conducted his visitor to the state drawing-room. 

As will readily be understood, I have to relate things now 
that did not at the time come under my personal knowledge : 
they only reached me later. Mr. Edwin Barley, with those 
two keen policemen posted outside the house and he within it, 
considered George Heneage as certainly his prisoner as though 
he had lain at his feet manacled and fettered. He could not 
resist the temptation of entering the house that contained his 
long-sought enemy. 

Hickens toolc his revenge. Returning with his master to the 
drawing-room, he contrived to let it be known that he main- 
tained his own ojnnion ; giving the annou'.cemcnt with great 
emphasis : 

" Mr. Edwin Barley, Sir Harry." 



424 AXNK HEUEFOllD. 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

IN THE WEST WING. 

Mr. Edwin Barley, standing with liis back to the door, wheeled 
round at the words. Sir Harry Chandos waited for him to 
61)eak, never inviting him to a seat. 

" Good-morning, Mr. Chandos." 

" Good-morning," coklly returned Sir Harry. " To what am 
I indebted for the honour of this visit '? " 

" I will tell you. One object of it is to demand an exi)lana- 
t'ou of your treatment of Mrs. Penn. She has brought her 
wrongs to me ; her only living relative, as she puts it. I 
suppose, as such, it lies with me to ask it. Mrs. Penn was 
engaged by Lady Chandos ; engaged as a lady ; and you have 
turned her away as a menial, subjecting her to gross indignity." 

Sir Harry stared at the speaker, scarcely crediting his own 
cars. The exceeding impudence of the proceeding, after Mrs. 
Penn's treacherous conduct, was something unique. 

" You will obtain no explanation from me, sir ; you can ai)2)ly 
to Mrs. Penn herself, if you require one. I am disgusted at the 
wickedness, the false deception of the whole affair, and will not 
condescend to recur to it. You are not welcome in this house, 
Mr. Edwin Barley, and I must request you to quit it. I cannot 
conceive how you could have dared to come here." 

" The exjjlanation, sir," persisted Mr. Edwin Barley. " Fine 
words will not enable you to evade it." 

He spoke as though he really required the explanation. Sir 
Harry did not understand, and a few sharp words passed on 
either side. Both Avere labouring under a mistake. Sir Harry 
assumed that all Mrs. Penn had done in the house had been 
under the express direction of Mr. Edwin Barley. Mr. Edwin 
Barley, on his side, was not aware that she had done anything 
wrong. They were at cross-purposes, and at that angry 
moment did not arrive at an understanding. 

" Treachery ? " echoed Mr. Edwin Barley, in answer to a 
word dropped by Sir Harry, " The police will soon be iu 



IN THE WEST WING. 425 

cliai'ge of one, guilty of something worse tLau treaclicry. A 
criminal lying umlcr the ban of the law is not far oft'." 

" You allude to my brother, INIr. Edwin Barley. True. Ho 
is lying not far off — very near to lis." 

The quiet words — for Sir Harry's voice had dropped to a 
strange calmness — took Edwin Barley by surprise. In this 
ready avowal, could it be that he saw reason to doubt that 
George Heueagc had already again made his escape '? Drawing 
aside the white blind, he saw one of the police-oificers nuder 
the trees opposite ; the other of course being at the back of the 
house. And it reassured him. Never more could George 
Heneage escape him. 

" Your brother shall not elude me, Mr. Chandos. I swear it. 
I have waited for years — for years, Harry Chandos — to catch 
him upon English ground. That he is on it now, I know. I 
know that you have him in hiding : here in the west wing of 
your house. Will you resign him peacefully to the two men I 
have outside ? Revengeful though you may deem me, I. would 
rather spare disturbance to your mother. The fact of his 
apprehension cannot be concealed from her : that is impossible ; 
but I would spare her as far as I can, and I would have wished 
to see her to tell her this. If you do not give him Tip quietly, 
the police must come in." 

" I think — to save you and the police useless trouble — you 
had better pay a personal visit to my brother," said Sir Harry. 
" You have rightly said that he has been in hiding in the west 
wing ; he is there still." 

"Your brother! — George!" exclaimed Mr. Edwin Barley, 
quite taken aback by the invitation, and suspecting some trick. 

" My brother George," was the quiet answer. " Did you 
think I was speaking of Sir Thomas '? He, i)oor fellow, is no 
longer in existence." 

" As I hear : and I am sorry for it. Your servant wished to 
assure me that you had succeeded to the honours ; he calls 
you ' Sir Harry.' I told him better," concluded Mr. Edwin 
Barley, with a cough that said much. 

" I do succeed to them — more's the pity. I wish Thomas 
had lived to bear them to a green old age," 



426 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Let me advise you not to assume tliem, at any rate, Mr. 
Harry Chaudos : the time has not come for it, and the world 
might Laugh at you. George Chandos, fugitive-criminal though 
he has heen, would succeed until proved guilty. Wait your 
time." 

" You are wasting my time," rejoined Sir Harry. " Will you 
pay a visit to the west Aving ? " 

" For what purpose ? You are fooling me ! " 

" I told you the purpose — to see my brother George. You 
shall see him, on my word of honour." 

The answer was a gesture of assent, and Sir Harry crossed 
the hall to ascend the stairs. Mr. Edwin Barley slowly followed 
him, doubt in his step, defiance in his face. That he was 
thoroughly perplexed, is saying little ; but he came to the con- 
clusion as he walked along the gallery that George Heneage 
was about to beseech his clemency. His clemency ! Hill 
opened the west wing. Seeing a stranger, she would have 
barred it again, but Sir Harry put her aside with calm authority, 
and went straight to one of the rooms. Turning for a moment 
there, he spoke to his visitor. 

" We have not been friends, Mr. Barley ; the one has regarded 
the other as his natural enemy ; still I would not allow even 
you to come in here without a word of warning, lest you should 
be shocked." 

" Lead on, sir," was the imperative answer. And Sir Harry 
went in without further delay. 

On the bed, laid out in his shroud, sleeping the peaceful 
sleep of death, w^as the emaciated form of George Heneage 
Chandos. Mr. Edwin Barley gazed at him, and the perspiration 
broke out on his forehead. 

" By Heaven ! he has escajied me ! " 

" He has escaped all the foes of this world," answered Sir 
Harry, lowly and reverently. " You perceive now, Mr. Edwin 
Barley, that were you to bring the whole police force of the 
county here, they would only have the trouble of going back 
for their pains. He is at rest from persecution ; and we are at 
rcitt from suspense and anxiety." 

" It lias destroyed my life's aim," observed Mr. Edwin Barley. 



IN THE WEST WING. 427 

"And witli it your thirst for revenge. Wlieu a man pursues 
another witli tlie persistent hatred that you have pursued him, 
it can be called nothing less than revenge." 

" Revenge ! What do you mean ? He did commit the 
murder." 

" His hand was the hand that killed Philip King : but it 
was not intentional murder. He never knew exactly — at the 
time or since — how he tired the gun, except that his elbow 
caught against the branch of a tree when the gun was cocked. 
Some movement of his own undoubtedly caused it; he knew 
that ; but not a wilful one. He asserted tliis with his dying 
lips before taking the Sacrament." 

" Wilful or not wilful, he miirdered Philip King," insisted 
Mr. Edwin Barley. 

" And has paid for it. The banned life he has been obliged 
to live since was surely an expiation. His punishment was 
greater than he could bear ; it was prolonged and prolonged, 
and his heart broke." 

Mr. Edwin Barley had his eyes fixed on the dead face, 
possibly tracing the likeness to the handsome young man of 
nine or ten years ago. 

"Of other crime towards you he was innocent," pursued Sir 
Harry, " He never injured you or yours ; there might have 
been folly in his heart in the heyday of his youth and spirits ; 
there was no sin. You have been unreasonably vindictive." 

" I say NO," returned Mr. Edwin Barley, striving to suppress 
an emotion that was rising and would not be supjiressed. 
" Had I ever injured George Hencage, that he should come 
into my home and make it desolate ? Wliat had my wife or 
my ward done to him that he should take their lives? He 
killed both of them : the one deliberately, the other indirectly, 
for her death arose out of the trouble. Charlotte Delves — Mrs, 
Penn now, of whom you complain — lost her only relative, 
myself excepted, when she lost Philij) King. And for me '? I 
was left in that same desolate home, bereft of all I cared for, 
left to go through life alone. Few men have loved a wife as I 
loved mine : she was my one little ewe-lamb, Harry C'handos. 
Vindictive ! Think of my wrongs." 



428 ANNE HEREFORD. 

Looking there at each otlicr, the dead face lying between 
them, it might be that both felt there was much to forgive. 
Certainly Harry Chandos had never imtil that moment realized 
the misery it had brought to Edwin Barley. 

" I sec ; we have all alike suffered. But he who caused the 
suffering is beyond reproach now." 

" As things have turned out, the game is yours. Sir Harry," 
said Mr. Edwin Barley, who was too much a man of the world 
to persist in denying him the title, now that he found it was 
his beyond dispute. "For my actions I am accountable to 
none ; and were the time to come over again, I should do as I 
have done." 

He turned to quit the room as he spoke, and Mr. Chandos 
followed him downstairs. A word exchanged at their foot 
caused Mr. Barley to inquire what it was Mrs. Penn had done : 
and then Sir Harry gave him the full particulars, with the 
additional information that she was assumed to have been 
acting for him, Edwin Barley. 

" She was not," said Mr. Barley, shortly. " I knew nothing 
of tliis. Placed in the house by mc, Sir Hariy ? SJie placed 
herself in the house, as I conclude ; certainly I did not place 
her there." 

" You have met her in secret in the grounds." 

" I have met her accidentally, not secretly. Twice, I think ; 
or three times ; I am not sure. She chose to repeat things to 
me ; I did not ask for them. Not that tliey were of any value 
— as the unmolested retirement of George Heneage here proves." 

He had been gradually moving to the hall-door. Sir Harry 
put a sudden question to him, quite upon impulse, as he told 
me afterwards, just as the thought occurred to him. 

" Has your wife's will ever been found ? " 

" What is that to you '? " asked Mr. Edwin Barley, turning 
to face him. 

" Little indeed. 1 am sorry to have mentioned it : it was 
not with any wish to add to the discomforts of the day. As I 
have done so, I will ask you to remember that there are others 
in the world as capable of error, not to say crime, as was poor 
George Heneage." 



IN THE WERT WING. 429 

" Do you insinuate tbat I suppressed tlic will V " demaucled 
Mr. Eilwiii JJarlcy. 

" No. The will could not disappear without hands ; but I 
sliould be sorry to give the very faintest opinion as to whose 
hands they were that took it. With your large fortune, it 
seems next door to an imi)ossibility that you could have su[>- 
jiressed it : on the other hand, you alone derived benefit from 
its loss. The thing is a puzzle to me, Mr. Edwin Barley." (. 

" But that you seem to speak honestly in saying so, without 
sinister insinuation, I would knock you down, Sir Harry 
C'handos," was Edwin Barley's answer. 

" I insinuate nothing ; and I say neither more nor less than 
I liave said. It was a paltry sum to run a risk for, whoever 
might have been guilty of tlie abstraction. Not only that : no 
blessing — or luck, as the world woidd call it — ever yet attended 
one who robbed the orphan." 

" You would wish mc to make a merit of generosity, and offer 
Miss Hereford a present of the money," said Mr. Edwin Barley, 
a ring of mockery in his tones. 

" By no means," hastily rejdied Sir Harry. " Miss Here- 
ford's future 2>osition in life will j)recliule her feeling the want 
of it. You informed me the last time I had the honour of 
speaking to you, that you were Miss Hereford's only relative : 
as such, allow me to acquaint you with the fact tliat she is to 
bo my wife." 

" I expected it would end in that," was Mr. Edwin Barley's 
answer. " And I tell you honestly that I would have removed 
her from here in time to j)revent it, had it been in my power. 
I liked the child ; my wife loved her ; and I had rather she 
married any one in the world than a C'handos. It is too late 
now." 

" Quite too late. Although I am a C'handos, I shall hope to 
make her happy, Mr. Edwin Barley. I will do my best to 
accomplish it." 

Hickens went into the hall at that juncture and the colloquy 
came to a close. Mr. Edwin Barley moved rapidly to the door, 
which Hickens opened, and went away witli a quick step. 

" I have no farther orders," he said to the policeman who 



430 ANNE HEREFORD. 

was standing watching the back of the house and part of the 
avenue. " The prisoner has escaped." 

" Escaped, sir ! It must have been before we came on then. 
Shall we search for him ? " 

" No. He is gone where search would not reach him." 

Mr. Edwin Barley strode on with the last words. The man, 
somewhat mystified, stared after him, and then crossed the lawn 
to give notice to his fellow that their mission to Chandos seemed 
to be over. 

" Le diable n'est pas si noir que Ton dit," runs the idiomatic 
saying in France. We have it also in English, as the world of 
course knows ; but it sounds better, that is, less wrong, to give 
it in the former language. We girls at school there said it 
often ; had one of us ventured on the English sentence at Miss 
Fenton's, that lady's eyes would have grown round with 
horror. 

It might be apjilied to Mr. Edwin Barley. Looking back 
dispassionately, bringing reason to bear on the retrosjject, I 
could not trace one single act or word in him that w^ould justify 
me in having thought him so bad a man. Taking the colouring 
from my first view of him, when his dark and certainly ugly 
face peeped out from the avenue at Hallam, frightening me 
terribly ; and from the dreadful events that followed, in which 
my childish imagination mixed liim up as the worst actor in 
them, this prejudice had lived and grown in my mind. He had 
really done nothing to merit it. There Avas the abstracted will, 
but it was not proved that he had taken it ; probably he had 
not done so. 1 had been too young to realize the terrible blow 
brought upon him through George Heneage. And, as we 
learned later, the vindictive feeling with which he had pursued 
him all through these years had its rise in self-defence, as well 
as in a desire to inflict punishment. The semi-doubt cast, or 
to himself seeming to be cast, on Mr. Edwin Barley at the time, 
in the remarks that he had been the only one to profit, and 
that largely, by Philij) King's death, had rankled in his mind, 
implanting there a burning anxiety, apart from other considera- 
tions, to bring to light tlie real criminal. For his own part, he 
had never for a moment doubted that it had been intentional, 



IN THE WEST WING. 431 

deliberate murder. And I liave grown to think that the ex- 
aggeration he imparted to Philip King's dying words arose 
unwittingly in the confusion of the moment ; and that he was 
unconscious that he did so exaggerate. A passive listener hears 
Avords more clearly than an actor. 

Mr. Edwin Barley went home after quitting Chandos. Seated 
there, her thiiigs off, and a lunchcon-tray before her, with no 
trace of her luggage to bo seen, was Charlotte Delves — Mrs. 
Penn of late years. Was she intending to take up her present 
quarters at his house ? The question mentally occurred to Mr. 
Edwin Barley, and it did not tend to his gratification. Not if 
he knew it ; he had not been upon cordial terms with Charlotte 
Delves for years ; and what he had now heard of her line of 
conduct at Chandos vexed him. 

There must be a word or two of retrospect. Shortly after 
Selina's death, Mr. Edwin Barley went abroad. Not a place on 
the European continent but he visited, one feverish object alone 
swaying him — the discovery of George Henoage. The detective 
l)olice were at w'ork in England with the same view : all in vain. 
At the end of three years he returned home ; and almost close 
upon it there occurred some rupture between him and Charlotte 
Delves, who had remained at Hallam all that time as the house's 
mistress. Peo])le thought she cherished visions of becoming 
its master's wife ; if so, she was lamentably mistaken. Mr. 
Edwin Barley was wedded to Selina and her memory ; he had 
no intention whatever of exalting another to her place. 
Whether Charlotte found out this in too sudden a manner ; 
whether the cause was totally unconnected with this, certain it 
was that a rupture occurred ; and Charlotte resigned the house- 
keeping, and left the house. She took the same sort of service 
with an old man, a connection also, of the name of Penn. He 
had married late in life, and had a young daughter, Lottie, who 
had been named after Charlotte Delves. Very much to the 
world's surprise — her little world— it was soon announced that 
Charlotte Delves was going to marry him. Mr. Edwin Barley, 
hearing of it, wrote to tell her what he thought of it in his own 
outspoken carelessness : " Old Penn was quite a cripple, and 
three parts an idiot since he had fallen into his dotage. She 



4355 ANNE HEREFORD. 

would be better without him than with him, ancl woukl only 
make herself a laughing-stock if she married him." The 
gratuitous advice did not tend to heal the breach. Charlotte 
Delves did marry Mr. Penn, and very shortly afterwards was 
called upon to bury him. Tlio young girl, Lottie, by whom 
her stepmother seemed to have acted a good part, died within 
a year ; and Mrs. Penn, left with a slender income, chose to go 
out in the world again. She became comjianion to a lady, and 
the years passed on. 

Time softens most things. Mrs. Penn grew to forget her 
fleeting marriage and with it the episodes of her middle life ; 
and went back to her old likings and prejudices. Her heart's 
allegiance to Edwin Barley returned ; she was of his kin, and 
the wrongs inflicted by George Heneage, temporarily forgotten, 
resumed their sway within her. Whilst she was at Marden 
(travelling aboxit from place to place with Mrs. Howard) some 
accidental occurrence caused her to suspect that George 
Heneage, instead of being abroad, was in concealment in 
England, and within a drive of Chandos. She at once wrote 
news of this to Mr. Edwin Barley, with whom she had held no 
communication since the advent of that letter of his at her 
marriage. It caused him to remove himself, and four or five of 
his household, to the vicinity of Chandos. There he took up 
his abode, and spent his time watching the house and the move- 
ments of Mr. Chandos, in the hope of gaining some clue to the 
retreat of Geoi'ge Heneage. With the exception of this watch- 
ing, which caused him to stroll at unorthodox hours into the 
groves and private paths, to peer in at windows by night, his 
conduct was inoffensive. Mrs. Penn, on her side, seized the 
oiiportunity afforded by Mrs. Freeman's illness (it was as 
though fortune favoured her), and got into Chandos. My 
presence in it might have been a serious check to her, only that 
I did not recognize her. She did not recognize me in the first 
interview ; not until the day when I sent in my name at Mrs. 
Marden's. Of course Mrs. Penn's object after that was to Tceep 
me in ignorance of her identity. She had really been to Nulle 
for a week or two ; it was in the autunm I first went there ; had 
seen me at church with the school, and so tried to persuade 



In the west wing. 433 

ilic it was there I bad seen her. Much as she wanted me away 
from Chandos for the furtherance of her own ends, cruel as 
were the means she tried to effect it, she had, straqge to say, 
taken a liking for mc ; and in her f?/slike to Mr. Chandos liad 
eared little wliat wild untruths she told me of him, hoping to 
separate us effectually. 

Of her effecting an entrance into Chandos as companion, 
Edwin Barley knew nothing. After she had settled there she 
looked out for him, and waylaid him in the grounds. Whilst 
Mr. Edwin Barley had been ignorant of her life and doingK for 
some years, there was no doubt that she had contrived to keep 
herself acquainted with his, including his removal to the gates 
of Chandos. In thi« interview Avith him, which I had partially 
overheard — and I now think it was the first she held with him 
— she told him what her object Avas : that of finding out all 
that could be found out about George Heneage. With tlie 
change in Mrs. Penn's person and the remarkable change in 
her hair, Mr. Edwin Barley had some difficulty in believing it 
to be Charlotte Delves. The hair was an unhappy calamity. 
Mrs. Penn, beguiled by fashion and confidential advertisements 
into wishing to turn her light flaxen hair to golden, had ex2)eri- 
mented upon it : the result was not gold, but a glowing, per- 
manent scarlet. She told him she was watching at Chandos 
for his sake. Mr. Edwin Barley, an imi)lacable man when once 
offended, Avas cool to her, declining, in a sense, to accept licr 
services. If she made discoveries that could assist in the truck- 
ing of George Heneage, Avell and good ; she might bring them 
to him : and so the interview ended. 

Mrs. Penn might have made a discovery to some purpose but 
for two things. The one was that she Avas really a coAvard, and 
believed the ghost haunting the Pine Walk to be a ghost : the 
other that she took up a theory of her OAvn in regard to the 
AA-est wing. She assumed that Lady Chandos had become mad ; 
to tliis she set doAA'n all the mystery enacted in it ; and this 
vicAv she imparted to Mr. Edwin Barley. He neither asked 
her to bring tales to him, nor encouraged her to do it ; if she 
Avorked, she worked of her OAvn accord ; and his doors remained 
closed to her. At least, Mrs. Penn did not choose to try 

Aiinc Ilercfurd. 28 



434 ANNE HEREFORD. 

whether they would be open. Until this clay : ami her entering 
them now could not be said to be of her own seeking. 

She sat taking her luncheon. Mr. Barley entered in silence, 
and stood with a dark exj)ression on his lij)S. Charlotte knew 
it of old, and saw that something had not pleased him. Things 
had very much displeased him ; firstly, the escape of the long- 
sought prisoner; secondly. Madam Charlotte's doings at Chandos. 
Mr. Edwin Barley might have winked at the peering and 
prying, might have encouraged the peeping into letters; but 
to steal things (even though but in appearance) he very much 
disapproved of, especially as he was looked upon as having 
instigated her. 

" What's the matter, Mr. Barley ? " asked Charlotte, helping 
herself to some partridge. " He is there, is he not ? " 

« Who ? " 

" George Heneage. In the west wing." 

" Yes, he's there. I've seen him." 

" Ah, I knew it," she said, with a relieved sigh. " Have the 
police got him ? " 

" No, the police have gone. I dismissed them." 

Charlotte threw down her knife and fork. " Dismissed them ! 
Without taking him ! Are you going to show leniency at the 
eleventh hour, like a weak woman, Mr. Edwin Barley ? After 
what I have done to trace him ! " 

" You have done a little too much," returned Mr. Edwin 
Barley. And, abandoning his short and crusty answers, he 
spoke at length his opinion of her acts at Chandos. He was 
not in the humour to suppress any bitterness, and said some 
keen things. 

Charlotte went into a terrible passion. Prudence was for- 
gotten ; and Mr. Edwin Barley was doomed to listen to the 
wild ravings of an angry woman. Eeproach for the past, for 
things that she had deemed wrongs in the bygone years, came 
out all the more freely for having been pent up within her so 
long. She contrasted her conduct with his : her ever anxious 
solicitude for his interests ; his neglect and cruel non-recognition 
of them. As tlie most forcible means of impressing his in- 
gratitude upon him, she recapitulated the benefits she had 



IN THE WEST WING. 435 

wrought ouc by ouc ; talking fast and furiously. Mr. Edwin 
Barley, a cool man under j)etty grievances, listened in silence : 
ho bad said bis say, said it witb stinging coldness, and it was 
over. Feeling very mucb inclined to stojj bis ears was be, 
wbcn sometbing furtber said by ber caused bim to open tbem, 
as ears bad never perhaps been opened yet. Charlotte bad 
overshot her mark in ber reckless rage ; and was scarcely aware 
that she bad done so until Mr. Edwin Barley, bis face and eyes 
blazing, seized ber wrists. 

She bad gone too far to retract, and she brazened out ber 
avowal, making a merit of it, rather than taking the shame of it. 

It was she who bad stolen Mrs. Edwin Barley's will. She, 
Charlotte Delves. She had taken it as a duty — in her regard 
for his, Edwin Barley's interests. ^Ybo was the child, Anno 
Hereford, that she should inherit what of right belonged to him ? 
When she bad appeared to find the keys in the china basket 
on the mantel-shelf, it was she who bad put them there ready 
to be found. 

There ensued no reproach from Mr. Barley's lips. At first 
she thought he was going to strike her, staring at her witb bis 
white and working face ; but the moments passed and he over- 
came his emotion. Perhaps he feared he might be tempted to 
strike her if he spoke. It seemed as if a blow had fallen on 
him — as if the depth of feeling aroused by her confession were, 
not so mucb wrath, as a sense of awful injury to himself that 
could never be repaired. 

" What became of the will ? " was the only question he put 
when the silence was growing ominous to her ears. 

" I burnt it. It was done for you. Throughout my life I 
have bad regard only to the interests of the Barleys. And this 
is my recompense— reproach and base ingratitude! " 

He quitted the room without speaking another word. This 
was the worst blow Mr. Edwin Barley bad yet received. He 
knew that the disappearance of the will had been set down by 
some people to bis own hands. Why, bad not Sir Harry 
Chandos hinted as mucb, only an hour ago ? He bad treated 
the past insinuations witb contempt, always insisting that there 
had been no will to abstract— for he fully believed bis wife bad 



43(5 ANNE HEREFORD. 

herself repented of the testament and destroyed it. He knew 
how ca];)ricious Selina was ; never keeping in the same mind 
two days together. And now he had to hear that the workl 
was right and he wrong : the will had heen abstracted. It did 
not tend to soothe him, to be told that it was taken out of 
regard to him and his own interests. 

Altogether he deemed it well to cut short his interview with 
Mrs. Penn. That lady, finding that the house intended to show 
itself inexorably inliospitable, put her bonnet on and went forth 
to the railway-station of her own accord, her luggage following 
her. Whether she should annoy Mr. Edwin Barley by sundry 
letters of reproach, one of the reproaches being that he had 
never cared for any living being but his doll of a wife ; or 
whether she should wash her hands of him altogether, and treat 
him henceforth with silent contempt, she had not determined 
in her mind. She inclined to the letters. Taking her seat in 
a first-class carriage, she would have leisure to think of it and 
decide on her journey to London. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

THE LAST FRIGHT OF ALL. 



I SAW none of them all the afternoon. After the departure of 
Mr. Edwin Barley, Sir Harry Chandos went out with Dr. Laken. 
Mrs. Chandos and Madame de Mellissie were in the cast wing, 
and, I ftmcied. Lady Chandos with them. Emily had offered 
to take Mrs. Penn's place for a short time, so far as sitting 
with Mrs. Chandos went ; it was one of the best-natured things 
I had known her do. 

It seemed to me ominous, suffering me to sit there all the 
afternoon alone, no companion but myself and the oak-jmrlour, 
and with death in the house ! The few words dropped by 
Emily to her brother about his changed position were beating 
their sad refrain on my brain. His position was indeed 
changed : and I was only a poor governess, althougli I might 
be a descendant of the Keppe-Carews. I quite thought that the 



THE LAST FRIGHT OF ALL. 437 

neglect now cast upon mo was an earnest that tlic family at 
least would not countenance my entrance into it. Well, I 
would do what was right, and gave him hack his fealty : I 
could only act honourably, though my heart broke over the 
separation that might ensue. 

It Avas quite dusk when Mr. C'handos came back — the old 
name will slip out. Dr. Lakcn went upstairs at once ; ho 
turned into the oak-parlour, 

" Alone in the dark, Anne ? " he said, drawing up the blind 
a few inches. 

It gave a little more light, and I could see his features. Ho 
looked jireoccupied ; but I thought the occasion had come to 
speak and ought to bo seized upon. 

What should I say ? How frame the words necessary for my 
task ? With my hands and lips trembling, brain and heart 
alike beating, I was about to speak incoherently, when some 
one came into the room. 

Emily, as I thought at first ; but when she came nearer the 
window I saw that it was Mrs. C'handos. Being left alone for 
an instant, she had taken the opportunity to come in search of 
Sir Harry. 

" I have not seen you since the Indian mail came in this 
morning," she said to him. " Why have you not been near me ? " 

" The day has been a busy one for me," he answered, speak- 
ing with the gentleness that one uses to a child, " Many 
things have had to be seen to." 

" It is sad news." 

" Very." And the jiain in his voice no one could mistake. 
" Thomas would have come home now'." 

" Instead of that, we shall never see him again ; and you, 
they tell me, are Sir Harry Chandos, Who would have thought 
once that you would ever inherit the title ! " 

" Strange changes take place," was liis reply, spoken 
altogether in a different tone, as if he did not care to encourage 
in her any reminiscence of the past. 

" It is so singular that they should both die together. At 
least, die to us. That when we were mourning for the one, 
Oews should arrive of the death of the other," 



438 ANNE HEREFORD. 

" Very singular. But it enables us to mourn openly, Etlicl." 
" Shall you live at C'handos ? " slie resumed, after a pause. 
" ( *ertainly." 

" But mamma says she shall leave it and take me." She 
sometimes called Lady Chandos mother. " Would you stay on 
alone V " 

" I shall not 1)C alone for long." 

She looked at him questioningly. I could sec her lovely 
blue eyes raised to his in the dim light. 

" Perhaps you will be marrying, Htarry ? " 

" Yes. In a short time." 

The faint pink on her delicate cheeks deepened to crimson. 
Could it be that she had ever suffered the old hopes to arise 
should certain contingencies occur ? Surely not ! And yet — 
poor thing ! — her intellect was not quite as ours is. 

" Have you fixed upon your wife ? " she inquired, drawing a 
deep breath. 

" I have asked this young lady to be my Avife." 

He indicated me, standing as I did back against the window. 
Mrs. Chandos looked at mc, her bright colour varying. The 
SBme thought evidently crossed her that I had thought might 
cross them —my imfitness in point of rank. She spoke to him 
proudly and coldly. 

" Your wife will be Lady Chandos now, you must remember." 

" I do not forget it, Ethel." 

She sighed imperceptibly, and turned to the door. Ho went 
to open it for her. 

" Emily and mamma have gone to the west wing. I should 
not like to go there : I never saw any one dead. I was almost 
afraid to come down the stairs, and now I am afraid to go up 
them." 

" Do you wish to go up ? " asked Sir Harry. 

" Yes. T wish to be in my own rooms." 

He held out his arm to her, and she took it. I stayed alone, 
wishing the explanation had been made before he went away. 
But ere the lapse of a minute Mrs. Chandos was in the east 
wing, and he back in the room with me. 

" Would you please let me speak to you a moment," I said — 



THE LAST FRIGHT OF ALL. 439 

for lie had only returned to take up a small parcel left on the 
table : and he came up to me, putting it down again. 

But I could not speak. No, I could not. Now that the 
moment was come, every word went out of my mind, power of 
utterance from my mouth. He stood looking at me — at my 
evident agitation and wliitening lijis. ^ 

" It is only right that I should speak ; I have been waiting 
all the afternoon to do so, Mr. Chandos — I beg your pardon ; I 
mean Sir Harry," I brought out at last, and the very fact of 
speaking gave me courage. " I wish — I wish " 

" Why, Anne, what is the matter ? " he asked, for I had 
stopped momentarily in agitation. " What is it that you wish ? " 

" To tell you that I quite absolve you from anything you 
have said to me : " and the shame I felt at having betrayed 
emotion brought to me a sudden and satisfactory coldness of 
manner. " Please not to think any more about me. It is not 
your fault, and I shall not think it is. Let it all be forgotten." 

A perception of my meaning flashed upon him, badly though 
I had expressed it. He looked at me steadily. 

" Do you mean, not think further of making you my wife ? " 

« Yes." 

" Very well. But now will you tell me why you say this ? " 

I hesitated. I think I was becoming agitated again: all 
because I knew I was getting through my task so stupidly. 

" Circumstances have altered with you." 

" Well, yes, in a measure. I am a trifle richer ; and my wife 
— as Ethel remarked just now — will be Lady instead of Mrs. 
Chandos. Why should you object to that ? " 

" Oh, Mr. Chandos, you know. It is not I who would object ; 
but your family. And — perhaps — yourself." 

" Anne, I vow I have a great mind to punish you for that 
last word. You silly child ! " he continued, putting his arms 
round my waist and holding me close before him. " But that 
it would punish me as well as yon, I wouldn't speak to you for 
three days : I would let you think I took you at your word." 

" Please don't joke. Don't laugh at me." 

" I suppose you think that under the ' altered circumstances,' 
as you call them, I ought to renew my vows. And, by the 



440 ANNE HEREFORD. 

way, I don't know that I ever did make you a fonnal offer ; 
cue that you couhl use against me in a suit of breach of promise. 
Miss Hereford, I lay my heart and hand at your disposal. 
Will you condescend to be the future Lady Chandos ? " 

Partly from vexation, partly from a tumult of bliss, I gave 
no answer. Sir Harry took one for himself. 

With my face burning — with my heart thrilling as if touched 
with the strains of some delightful melody, I ran upstairs, 
barely in time to change my dress for dinner, and nearly ran 
against Lady Chandos, who was coming out of the east wing. 

"There are twin genii, who, strong and mighty, 

Under their guidance mankind retain ; 
And the name of the lovely one is Pleasure, 

And the name of the loathly one is Pain. 
Never divided, where one can enter 

Ever the other comes close behind ; 
And he who in pleasure his thoughts would centre. 

Surely pain in the search shall find." 

The good old words (and I don't at this present moment 
recollect whose they are) came forcibly to my mind in their 
impressive truth. The sight of Lady Chandos changed my 
pleasure to jjain : for I had had no assurance from Mm that she 
would approve of what he had been doing. Hastening into my 
bedroom, I stood at the open door until she should pass : it 
would not do to shut it in her face, as though I had not seen 
her. 

But instead of passing, slio turned to me. While my head 
was bowed in silent salutation, she halted, and put her hand 
upon my shoulder, causing my face to meet hers. With the 
consciousness of whose it had just met, and very closely, with 
the consciousness of feeling like a miserable interloper who 
was to be exalted into the place of her predecessor against her 
will, no wonder I trembled and bent my shrinking face. 

" And so you are to be my daughter-in-law ? " 

The words were not spoken in pride, but in gentle kindness. 

I looked up and saw love in her eyes ; and she might see the 
gratitude that shone in mine. 

" Harry told me last niglit in the midst of our great sadness ; 
after you had been into our poor George's room, My dear, I 



THE LAST FRIGHT OF ALL. 441 

have heard a great deal of you since I have bceu upstairs in 
confinement, and I feel sure you will make him a good wife." 

In my revulsion of feeling I clasped her hands in mine, 
thanking her — oh, so earnestly. " There is only one thing," I 
said, the tears running down my fiice. 

« What is that ? " 

" I am not good enough for him. And oh, Lady Chandos, I 
was so afraid you would not think me so. I have been a 
governess, you know. I would have given him up, I have just 
told him so, now he is Sir Harry Chandos." 

She smiled a little. " One objection arose to me Avhen he 
first spoke — that you were the niece of Mrs. Edwin Barley. 
But I have grown to-day to think it may be well to overcome 
the prejudice. Do you know what Harry says ? " 

I only shook my head. 

" He says, as Mrs. Edwin Barley brought (I must speak 
freely) a curse into our house, you may be destined to bring to 
it a l)lessing as the recompense. My dear child, I think it will 
be so." 

She inclined her head, and gave me a fervent kiss. I could 
have knelt to receive it. I i)ressed her hand as if I could never 
let it go. I watched her along the gallery to the west wing 
amid my blinding tears. I could hardly help lifting my voice 
in thanks to Heaven for its great love to me. Hill came up 
the stairs and broke the charm. 

" Why, Miss Hereford, you have no light," she said ; and 
indeed my chamber was in darkness. " Allow me to light the 
branches, miss." 

By the unusual attention — a solitary candle would have been 
good enough for me before —by the sound of her voice as she 
offered it, I saw she had heard the news. I could not help 
putting my hand into hers as she turned round from the lighted 
branches. 

" Hill, I hope you will forget that I used to vex you about 
that west wing. I did not know what it was, you see. But 
oh, if you had only told me ! I would have been so true to 
you all." 

Old Hill put her candle down, tliat she might have her 



442 ANNE HEREFORD. 

other hand at liberty ; and she hiid it upon mine, making it a 
prisoner. 

" Miss, it is I who have got to ask pardon of you for my ill- 
temper. We were all living in so much dread, that a stranger 
in the house brought nothing but extra fear and trouble to it.^ 
But I liked you through it all ; I liked your face that morning 
years ago on the Nulle steamer at London Bridge. It is the 
same nice face still. And, Miss Hereford, I am not sorry to 
hear that you are to be for good at Chaudos." 

" We shall be friends. Hill." 

" I ho^je so, miss. I shan't be here ; I go with my lady." 

She went away with her candle. It gave me a shy feeling to 
think the news should be known to the household. But I soon 
found it was not known. Hill, the confidential attendant, it 
may be said friend, was made acquainted with all things, but 
she did not carry them to the servants under her. 

Emily and Dr. Laken dined with us in the oak-parlour. 
Lady and Mrs. Chandos dined in the east wing. Except that 
a subdued air pervaded all, even to the tones of our voices and 
the servants' tread, the meal and evening were just as usual. 

"Why did you never tell me you were a Kejipe-Carew ? " 
Emily suddenly asked mo when we were alone together. 

" But I am not a Keppo-Carew." 

" Nonsense. Your mother was : it's all the same." 

" As a governess, I did not care to say much about my 
family." 

" You were a little idiot. Anno. The Kcjipe-Carews are as 
good as we are — better, some might say ; and so I suppose I 
must reconcile myself to the idea of your becoming my brother's 
wife." 

" Oh, Madame de Mellissie, if you only could ! " 

" And forget that you were once a governess. Well, child, I 
never disliked you ; and there's the truth. It won't seem right, 
though, for you to take precedence of us all— as you will when 
you are Sir Harry's wife." 

" I never Avill ; indeed I never will." 

She laughed. At my being so sinii)le-miuded, she told Dr. 
Laken, who then came in. 



THE LAST FRIGHT OF ALL. 443 

It was cliilly tliat night ; and wlicn I went to my room at 
bedtime, I found a fire blazing in tlie grate — by HiU's orders, 
I was sure. Ah me, with aU my natural propensity to be 
simple-minded, my earnest wish to remain so for ever, I did 
feel a glow of pride at being tacitly recognized as tlie future 
mistress of Chandos. 

Over this fire — a bright, beautiful fire, as befitted a dull 
house — I sat late, reading, musing, half dreaming. The clock 
struck twelve, and still I sat on. 

For half-an-hour, or so. It was so delightful to realize my 
happiness ; and I was in no mood for sleej). But of course 
sleep had to be prepared for, and I took my feet from the 
fender, wondering v.hat sort of a night it was. There had been 
indications of frost in the evening, and I drew the heavy 
window-curtains back to take a view outside. " No fear of 
seeing a ghost now," I too boastfully whispered. 

I thought I should have fainted ; I nearly dropjied on the 
floor with startled alarm. Not at a ghost : there was none to 
bo seen ; but at something that in that startling moment 
seemed to me far worse. 

Emerging from its progress up the avenue, at a snail's jiacc, 
as if it cared not to alarm sleepers with its echoes — advancing, 
as it seemed, upon me~came a great, black, dismal thing, 
speaking of the dead. A hearse. A hearse without its plumes, 
driven by a man in a long black cloak. 

For a moment I believed I saw a phantom. I rubbed my 
eyes, and looked, and rubbed again, doubting what spectral 
vision was obscuring them. But no, it was too real, too 
palpable. On it came, on and on ; turned round, and halted 
before the entrance-door. 

I sat down to hold my beating heart. Surely never were 
enacted night alarms like those I had encountered at Chandos. 
And, whilst I sat, muffled sounds as of measured footsteps bear- 
ing a burden, smote upon my ear from the corridor. 

I listened till they had passed my door, and then silently 
drew it an inch open. Do not attribute it to an unjustiiiablc 
curiosity : I declare that I was impelled to it by fear. Strange 
though the assertion may seem, it is true ; the real cause of all 



444 ANNE HEREFORD. 

tliis did not occur to mo. Had I been so absorbed in my own 
happiness as to forget all else ?— or bad I grown stupid ? I 
know not — only that it was as I say. 

They had gained the head of the stairs, and were stopping 
there, apparently hesitating how best to get down. Four of 
them besides Sir Harry Chandos, and they bore a coihn on 
their shoulders covered with black cloth — Dr. Laken, Hickens, 
and two men who looked like carpenters. So ! that was it ! — 
the unhappy George Heneage was being removed by night ! — 
and the stairs of the west wing, as I knew later, were too narrow 
for the burden. 

1 could not see, for the hearse was right underneath my 
window, but I heard the sounds as they put in the coffin, after 
they had got it safely down. And then the groat black thing 
drove away again, with its slow and covert steps, some of them 
following it. It was going to the railway- station. 

Sir Harry and Dr. Laken were away for two or three days. 
The funeral had taken place from the doctor's house. There 
was no real reason why he might not have been buried from 
Chandos, except that it would have created so much noise, and 
put the place up in arms. 

And so ended the life and history of the ill-fated George 
Heneage Chandos, 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

AT CHANDOS, 

OxVCE more there was light in the gloomy house of Chandos. 
The blinds were drawn up ; the sunlight was allowed to shine 
in. He who had been the destroyer of its tranquillity and its 
fair name— through whom, and for whom, they had lived in 
dread for so many years, having, as Mrs. Penn aptly expressed 
it, a sword hanging over their heads, which might fall at any 
minute— he, the erring man, was laid to rest ; and had left rest 
for them. With him, the fear and the dread were gone— almost 
the disgrace ; there was no further need of secrecy, of retire- 



AT CIIANDOS. 445 

ment, of gliosis, of sleep-walking ; there was no longer dread 
of a night invasion by the police. Chandos could hold up its 
head now in the face of day. 

The deep mourning was supposed, by all save a few, to be 
worn for Sir Thomas Chandos. When Mrs. Chandos appeared 
in her widow's garb, people at first treated it as one of her 
eccentricities, but the truth became known in time. They 2)ut 
me into mourning also ; and it was done in this way. 

" Would you not like to wear it ? " Sir Harry said to me the 
day he came home. " I think, as you are in the house, one of 
us, it might be well ; also as my future wife. What do you 
say, Anne '? Would you object to it '? " 

" Indeed I would not object : I should like to wear it. I 

will order " And there the state of the case occurred to 

me, and I sat down in consternation. 

I had not a shilling in the world. I had no money, either 
for mourning or for my wedding clothes. The exceeding in- 
congruity of this order of affairs with my position as the future 
Lady Chandos, struck on me with shame and dismay. What 
would they all think of me ? What reflections of meanness 
might even the servants not cast upon me ? Tears of mortifica- 
tion filled my eyes. 

" What's the matter, Anne ? " 

" I have no money." 

Sir Harry laughed. " Don't cry over that, my darling. You 
wall have so much soon, you won't know what to do with it. 
Tell my mother of your dilemma." 

I did not tell her. Perhaps he did. In the afternoon Hill 
came to my room with Lady Chandos's dressmaker ; and in two 
days my mourning had come home. 

The first visitor we had at the house — and he arrived the day 
I put my mourning on — was Monsieur de Mellissie, looking 
very ill. Of course he had come after his wife, having started 
the instant he was able to travel. A somewhat stormy inter- 
view ensued between them ; but she spoke as one accustomed to 
having things her own way, and he appeared rather meek beside 
her. He had arrived with the view of taking her back to 
France ; she vowed and protested that she M'as not going home 



446 ANKE HEREFORD. 

yet — that all tlio steaiuers plying between the two countries 
should not take her there ; her mamma was about to spend some 
time at Brighton or Scarborough, as might be agreed upon, and 
she purj^osed accompanying her : she wanted recruiting as well 
as other people. 

Lady C'handos came forward to the rescue, her compassion 
awakened for the poor, sick, evidently suffering man. 1'he first 
thing, he must go to bed and be nursed, she said; they would 
talk of plans afterwards. Monsieur de Mellissie was really too 
ill to dispute the mandate ; neither did he feel inclined to do 
it : after his hurried journey from Paris, bed seemed as a very 
haven of rest. 

They left the room, followed by Lady Chandos, and the next 
to ajipear was the agent, Mr. Dexter. He came in, rubbing his 
hot face as usual. Not that the weather put him into a heat 
to-day, but the news he brought. 

Mr. Edwin Barley had gone away. Mr. Edwin Barley's 
servant had .called upon him with a cheque for a twelvemonth's 
rent and taxes, and an intimation that his master would not 
occupy the house again. Mr. Dexter might make what use he 
pleased of it. If there were any dilapidations for wdiich Mr. 
Edwin Barley was legally responsible, they would be paid for 
on the amount being sent to him at the Oaks. 

" Gone away, has he ? " cried Sir Harry. 

" Gone clean away, sir, bag and baggage," replied Mr. Dexter, 
who seemed unable to get over the surprising fact. " It's the 
oddest thing I ever knew. The furniture — it was only hired, 
as you may remember. Sir Harry — is already being removed 
from the house. A strange whim, to be red-hot for a place one 
month, and run away from it the next ! " 

" Very," said Sir Harry, quietly, 

" I suppose the truth is, he found the house so diiferent from 
his own place, the Oaks, that he couldn't reconcile himself to 
stopping in it," resumed Mr. Dexter, talking as fast as ever. 
" A magnificent place that, his servant tells me. He has 
another, too, close by it, that he keeps up as well. I pressed 
the question on the servant — a most respectable man, quite 
superior. Sir Harry — what could be taking his master away,* 



AT CHANDOS. 447 

but he said lie didu't know, uulcss it might be that he was dis- 
appointed at finding the shooting here so poor. The preserves 
at the Oaks are hardly to be matched in the kingdom. Any 
way, Sir Harry, he's (jone, whatever may have taken him." 

As Mr. Dexter went out of the room, unburdened of his news. 
Sir Harry came to the window where I sat at work, laid his 
hand upon my shoulder, and made me look up at him. 

" Is that little heart of yours relieved by the tidings ? " 

" Yes ; oh, yes. I have not dreaded Mr. Edwin Barley so 
much the last few days ; but I am glad he is gone. I was 
always fearing that he might a2)ply for some power that Avould 
enable him legally to take me from here." 

" In that case I must have got legal power on my side in the 
shape of a special licence, and married you romantically in the 
great drawing-room at twelve at night, and so made you secure 
in that way. I think even now it may be safer, Anne, not to 
delay the ceremony long." 

I looked uj) in consternation, believing he really thought 
there might still be danger, and met the expression of his eyes. 
Mine fell on my work again. I began sewing fast. 

" Don't you think Monsieur de Mellissie looks very ill. Sir 
Harry?" 

" I do ; but low fever reduces a man greatly. When are you 
going to abandon ceremony ? ' Sir Harry ' is worse than ' Mr. 
C'handos ' was." 

" But what can I call you ? " 

" I was christened Harry." 

" I shall learn it in time," I answered, shyly, " through hear- 
ing the others say it." 

" Anne, do you know what poor George said the last niglit 
of his life ? " he asked, after a pause, 

" No. Was it about me ? " 

" It was about you : when you were the little tiling he met 
at Hallam. He said you were a sweet, lovable child : trutliful, 
honest, and good. I think you are the same still." 

I bent my blushing face : praises were so sweet from him. 
Sir Harry suddenly clasped me to him with a deep sound ; and 
I had to kneel down afterwards and hunt for my needle. 



448 ANNE HEREFOtlD. 

A few mornings subsequent to this, tlie post brought a packei 
acldressed to Sir Harry Chandos. When I saw it was Mr. 
Edwin Barley's handwriting, my heart failed me. Sir Harry 
read it twice over, glanced at me, and put it into his pocket. 
Monsieur de Mellissie was considerably better ; the change of 
air and scene had almost restored him. He did not yet get up 
to breakfast. I, Emily, and her brother took it alone. Plans 
had been under discussion for some days. Sir Harry's marriage 
was already talked of openly. 

" Mamma says it will be Scarborough," observed Emily, 
following out the train of thought she had been pursuing whilst 
Sir Harry read his letter. " She shall go there for a month, 
and get to Heneage Grange for Christmas. Ethel goes with 
her of course, and so shall I. Alfred also ; she has invited 
him. And you, Anne — where do you go ? " 

I could not tell. I had neither money nor friends. Except 
the Miss Barlieus. 

" Where are you going, Anne ? Don't you hear me ? " she 
cried, with some impatience. " Even if mamma remained at 
Chandos, you could not do so, under the same roof with Harry. 
Iti would be out of all precedent, you know. The world would 
talk." 

"Wouldn't it?" put in Sir Harr.'. But I thought he was 
laughing at her. 

" Where are you to be married ? I mean, from whose 
house ? " she asked, looking straight at me. 

" From — Miss Barlieu's," I suggested, humbly, feeling how 
very humble my share of everything was altogether. 

Emily gave a scream. " From Miss Barlieu's ! Sir Harry 
Chandos take his wife from tliem ? Well, you have strange 
ideas, Anne. You ought to be married from Keppe-Carew." 

" There is no one at Keppe-Carew now. Arthur Carew is a 
boy at school." 

"Oh, well, I wash my hands of it," said Emily; "I sup- 
pose mamma will have to arrange it all. Listen, Anne ; I 
mean to be a frequent visitor at Chandos, so I give you fair 
warning." 

It was on my lips to say she would bo always welcome, when 



AT CIIANDOS. 449 

Sir Harry spoke : tolling her she might probably find that 
mamma had arranged all that was necessary to be arranged. 
She flew upstairs to ask, and Sir Harry turned to me. 

What wonderful news lie had to tell ! That old saying I 
spoke of only a few pages back was nothing to it. I sat and 
listened as one lost in amazement — and when Sir Harry showed 
me the letter, I read it twice over, as he had done, before 
knowing whether or not to believe it. 

Mr. Edwin Barley had made over to me the amount of 
money left by Selina, with the full interest thereon at five per 
cent, up to the present date. He frankly stated that the 
mystery of the lost will had now been cleared up : it had been 
(contrary to his own opinion) abstracted, and, as he foimd, 
burnt. He did not give any hint as to the culprit ; with all 
his sins, he was too much of a gentleman to do that : I could 
a,cknowledge it now that my prejudices were partially removed : 
but we felt sure (and knew it later) that it was Charlotte 
Delves. This money he had caused to be settled on me to my 
exclusive use and benefit. He informed Sir Harry that the 
first instalment of the half-yearly interest was waiting to be 
drawn by me. 

" So you are an heiress, after all," said Sir Harry, laughing. 
" You can buy your own ■^'edding-dress." 

But I did not laugh. 1 was thinking how I had misjudged 
Mr. Edwin Barley. I had thought him so hard and unjust a 
man ! Hard, he might be : but strictly just. 

" I should like to write and thank him." 

" Certainly. Write when you like, and what you like. I 
shall answer his letter. It contains something more, that I 
have not shown you." 

" Am I not to see it ? " 

For answer Sir Harry folded back the letter, and placed a 
postscript before me. It seemed to me more amazing than the 
other. 

" Should my niece, Anne Hereford, find herscK less happy as 
Lady Chandos — your wife — than she expects to be, and wish 
for a refuge, my house will be open to her. If she enters it, 
whether in the present year or in those long to come, she will 

Anne Hereford. 29 



450 ANNE HEREFORD. 

be treated in evexy way as my own child ; and be amply pro- 
vided for at my death." 

" Do you expect that you will need a refuge ? " 
His eyes were gleaming with merriment as he spoke it — a 
whole lifetime of affection in their depths. If mine uncon- 
sciously looked back at their great and tender trust, it was not 
my fault. But a vision of sometime meeting Edwin Barley 
and thanking him for this new kindness ; of making some little 
atonement for my past dislike, so far as words of gratitude 
could atone, rose within me as a vision. 

The following week we quitted Chandos for Scarborough- 
all of us, except Sir Harry. There were many things to be 
done to the house, improvements and alterations, and he 
remained to superintend them. He spent Christmas with us 
at Heneage Grange : it was a smaller place than Chandos, very 
open, very pretty, and belonged to Lady Chandos for life. I 
was to remain and be married from it ; Lady Chandos had so 
decided it. 



The winter had passed, the spring had come, before I saw 
Chandos again. I was then in Harry's carriage : alone with 
him ; his wife of only a day or two. Chandos was very far 
from Heneage Grange, and we had taken the journey easily, 
travelling post. 

I saw it as we turned from the avenue ; and did not know it : 
so different was it now in its light and gay appearance from 
the gloomy place of the previous autimin. The trees, some of 
^em cut down, were budding into the fresh green of spring ; 
the flowers were opening ; the birds sang joyously ; the once 
closed and barred windows were open to the sunshine. All 
things spoke of hope for us, as if nature had arrayed herself 
expressly in her brightest colours. 

I saw the servants in their gala clothes, with their happy 
faces, coming forth to welcome us, Hickens at their head, and 
Lizzy Dene with her bunches of black curls. The tears rained 
over my eyes, and Harry turned to me. 

" My darling, what is grieving you ? " 



AT CHANDOS. 451 

" Joy, I think. There is a promise of so much happiness 
that I cannot realize it, can scarcely believe in it. My past 
life has been nothing but loneliness ; can you wonder at my 
almost doubting the great blessings showered upon me now ? 
Harry ! " — and I looked down with a shy whisper — " it seems 
that I never, never can be sufficiently grateful to God." 

"We will try to be so, Anne. Sufficiently, no; but just a 
little, as He shall give us aid. What has been your life, com- 
pared with the suffering of mine ? — and He has lifted it from 
me." 

He bent his head, I know in prayer. Prayer never to forget 
the great mercies given. The carriage stopped at the door, 
and he helped me out. 

Once more in the old hall ; but it had light now, and bright 
painted windows, and all sorts of beautiful things. Hill came 
forward. It was a surprise. Lady Chandos had despatched 
her there, to superintend our reception, lending her to Chandos 
for a week. 

" Welcome, my lady ; welcome home." 

My lady! I think it was the first time I had been so 
addressed, and glanced at Harry. He had me on his arm, and 
was leading me into the oak-parlour ! The dear oak-parlour ! 
We might have to keep state at times, but that would ever be 
his favourite room and mine. 

" Harry, how beautiful it all is ! Do you know who I should 
like to ask to come and see us first of all ? " 

" Well ! " he said, smiling. 

" Miss Annette Barlieu." 

" And so we will." 

Harry came into my dressing-room that night, with an open 
Bible in his hand. He made me sit down by him while he 
read a chapter aloud ; and I found it was to be his usual custom 
morning and evening. It was tliat chapter in Deuteronomy 
where the following verses occur ; and I knew why he had 
chosen it : 

" And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought 
thee into the land which He sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, 



452 ANNE HEREFORD. 

to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, 
which thou buildedst not, 

" And houses full of all good things, which thou fillcdst not, 
and wells digged, which thou diggcdst not, vineyards and 
olive-trees, which thou plantedst not ; when thou shalt have 
eaten and be full ; 

" Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee 
forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 

" Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve Him . . . And 
thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the 
Lord : that it may be well with thee. 

" And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all 
these commandments before the Lord our God, as He hath 
commanded us." 

" Amen ! " said Harry, softly, as he closed the book, carrying 
it with him from the room. 

And I knelt alone to say my prayers, my heart overflowing 
with a sense of its great blessings, and lifted up in thankfulness 
to Heaven. 



THE END. 



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